Experts say that China and African countries are increasingly cooperating in space to develop different ideas for the future.
Chinese astronauts are known as astronauts. They conducted space diplomacy during a six-month mission to the Tiangong Space Station. The space structure is under construction.
Three astronauts spoke with students from eight African countries via a video link this month. The Chinese mission to the African Union supported the event.
Temidayo Oniosun is a Nigerian rocket scientist. He also oversees the Space in Africa website. “This event is a reflection Layers cooperation between China and African countries.
During the lecture, a young Ethiopian asked what astronauts eat in space and how they wash themselves. A Somali student wanted to know more about the future of space. the landmarks of the city An Egyptian student wanted to know if it would be difficult for women to become astronauts.
The three astronauts answered his questions in detail. Show the students the foods they eat in orbit. Included ‘delicious, delicious purple rice porridge jump Sweet corn with pine nuts and fried beef pieces in black pepper sauce. The astronauts explained that since there is almost no gravity in space, it is impossible to take Shower.
China’s interests in Africa
Onionson said the joint efforts “are not necessarily because of China and the rest.” attractive To help Africa, they do so because they reap economic, social and cultural benefits from it. Capital in contrast. »
China controls more satellites than any other country except the US The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies is in operation in 2020. paper The one from China says remote control Satellite network sensors in Africa are helping to support the Belt and Road Development Program (BRI). He said that linking “partner nations” is one use of cooperation in space.
At an event in Addis Ababa, the head of China’s mission to the African Union, Hu Changchun, said space is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative launched by President Xi Jinping. Its goal is to quickly build large projects in developing countries for roads, bridges, ports, railways and similar structures.
“Under the leadership of the Belt and Road Initiative, space cooperation has become one of the most prominent areas of China-Africa cooperation,” Hu said.
Africa’s interests in space
Onionson said the African space economy in 2021 was estimated to be worth $19.5 billion. It is expected to grow by 16% over the next four years, he said. In 2022, 13 African countries will have 48 satellites. Six of them were built by China and one by the United States, and experts say satellite communications are critical to communications in Africa.
China launched the first Nigerian communications satellite in 2007 and the second in 2011. China also launched the first Algerian communications satellite in 2017. Experts say Tunisia became the home of the first ground-receiving station outside China for the BeiDou navigation system in 2018.
China also helped Ethiopia and Sudan launch the first satellites in 2019.
More than 20 African countries now have space programmes. Julie Klinger said the recent astronauts event between the African Union and China was meant to stir up enthusiasm among young Africans. She is an assistant professor at the University of Delaware and has spoken to Voice of America.
Klinger said African countries are not interested in participating in the space race, military use, or even manned spaceflight.
They are more interested in the field of “social and economic development”. Klinger added that climate change, environmental monitoring measures and disaster control are important parts of China-Africa space cooperation.
However, Klinger said that China should enter the competition Offers For space technology contracts with African governments.
“Honestly they don’t always win, most of the satellite activity is especially in Africa Based on by African governments. France wins the most contracts. China is in second place. The United States is fourth.
Students who have been involved in a question-and-answer discussion with the astronauts may not be concerned about which countries African nations are associated with. But some of them may one day become astronauts who will go into space.
I’m Katie Weaver.
Kate Bartlett posted this story to VOANEWS. It was adapted by Mario Ritter Jr. for VOA Learning English.
words in this story
reflection -north. Something that shows characteristics, influences, or the presence of something else
cooperation -north. Co-working with others or together, especially in a think tank
the landmarks of the city -north. Traveling for leisure
skips -Fifth. Fry (food, such as small pieces of meat or vegetables) with a small amount of fat
Shower -north. Bath in which water is poured on the body
get involved – get involved-Fifth. To share or cause to be involved in something
Capital -north. money and property
remote control -din. To be, relate to, or imply a means to do or use something indirectly or at a distance
Offers -north. An opportunity to make an offer to buy or provide a service for money
Context -Fifth. Pay something, support with money
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