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National Manned Space Programme Recruitment of Payload Specialists


The country announced the official launch of the recruitment of the fourth batch of astronauts and the recruitment of Payload Specialists in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) for the first time, giving Hong Kong citizens the opportunity to participate in the National Manned Space Programme and contribute to the technological development of our country.

Payload Specialists, one of the categories of astronauts classified by types of mission, are professional scientific researchers who will carry out scientific and applied researches in space stations. During space missions, Payload Specialists are mainly responsible for conducting aerospace experiments or researches, operating space laboratory equipment, and managing daily operations of space stations with other astronauts.

Recruitment for preliminary screening will mainly be conducted through the following universities/ organisations/ companies:

  1. 11 local universities;
  2. five Government research and development (R&D) centres (including Automotive Platforms and Application Systems R&D Centre, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre, and Nano and Advanced Materials Institute) and Hong Kong Productivity Council;
  3. research institutions/ companies at the Hong Kong Science Park and Cyberport; and
  4. Government departments and the Hospital Authority.

Candidates from organisations or companies other than the above may also be considered by the HKSAR Government.

Payload Specialists will undertake key missions in the National Manned Space Programme. Candidates should be Chinese nationals who are permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Candidates and their immediate family members should be patriots who adhere to the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, uphold the Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law, have no criminal records, and are supportive of the manned space programme.

1. Gender: Male or Female

2. Age: 30 – 45 years old in principle

3. Family and marital status: No relevant requirements

4. Physical attributes:

  • Male candidates should be 162-175cm tall; female candidates should be 160-175cm tall
  • Physically fit with no significant allergies, or past medical history or hereditary diseases which may affect space missions
  • Uncorrected visual acuity of at least 0.1 and corrected visual acuity of not less than 0.8 in either eye, with no colour blindness
  • Mentally fit

5. Academic discipline and qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree holder
  • Specialises in discipline(s) including biology, medical, psychology, material sciences, physics, chemistry, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, electronic engineering or astronomy, etc.
  • At least three years’ professional working experience in relevant discipline(s)
  • A good command of Chinese and English with fluent Putonghua

A1: Both local and non-local academic qualifications and working experiences are acceptable; that said, candidates should be conducting research or other works in local universities/ organisations/ companies currently.

A2: No. As the relevant authorities will contact candidates' universities/ organisations/ companies to understand their recent works, research areas and professions, candidates who are not from any universities/ organisations/ companies will not be able to complete the recruitment procedures.

A3: Payload Specialists will attend training for around two and a half years, while the timing and duration of space missions depend on the mission plans. Training locations will be arranged by relevant national authorities.

A4: Payload Specialists will receive astronaut training subsidies and spaceflight subsidies from the Central Government for training in the China Astronaut Research and Training Center and space missions according to prevailing standards. The HKSAR Government will also coordinate proactively with the universities or organisations concerned on the appropriate arrangements to be offered to the selected candidate(s).