Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut to go into space was conferred honorary Doctor of Science by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Thursday.
Yang, the Chinese astronaut who commanded China's first manned space flight, received his Bachelor's Degree from the No. 8 Aviation College of the People's Liberation Army. He became a member of the national astronaut team in 1998.
"I feel honored to be conferred the degree. This is not only an individual honor but also the honor of all national space flight engineers," said Yang.
Yang also said that Hong Kong people's enthusiasm and interest in the space flight undertaking of China have always spirited him up at work and made him feel so excited.
Aboard Shenzhou V on Oct. 15, 2003, Yang flew round the Earth 14 times, traversing a distance of about 600,000 kilometers, which has realized China's dream of manned space flights and made important contributions to the development of space mission and space science.
Besides Yang, CUHK has also to confer honorary doctorates to three other distinguished persons, including renowned philosopher professor Lao Yung-wei; Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences 1996 professor James A. Mirrlees; and chairman and senior managing director of Shun Hing Group William Mong Man Wai.
(Xinhua News Agency December 10, 2004)