Former NASA chief sells space dreams to Vietnamese youth

By Nguyen Xuan   June 11, 2019 | 11:34 am GMT+7
Former NASA chief sells space dreams to Vietnamese youth
Major General Charles Frank Bolden Jr., former NASA administrator and astronaut, speaks at the Vietnam National Space Center in Hanoi, June 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Xuan.

Major General Charles Bolden Jr., U.S. Science Envoy for Space, met with students and scientists at the Vietnam National Space Center on Monday.

At a discussion on "General Space Exploration and Commercialization of Space," the former astronaut spoke about his journey into space, the search for life on other planets and the research into life on Earth that NASA and private institutions have done.

Bolden, a former marine, traveled to space four times between 1986 and 1994 and was later appointed by President Barack Obama as NASA chief from 2009 to 2017.

He said research and testing of scientific works, studying methods to grow plants in space and finding cosmic technologies that can be applied to safer space travel were some of his work in space.

A woman asks a question at a discussion with Major General Charles Bolden Jr., U.S. Science Envoy for Space, at the Vietnam National Space Center, Hanoi, June 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Xuan.

A woman asks a question at a discussion with Major General Charles Bolden Jr., U.S. Science Envoy for Space, at the Vietnam National Space Center, Hanoi, June 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Xuan.

Speaking about the differences between the U.S. and Vietnam, he said while there are lots of interesting space programs for young people in his country, Vietnamese youths know about space from television and cartoons.

"So how can Vietnamese youth be more exposed to the reality about space programs? They love to explore, but the problem is they do not feel inspired or motivated."

Vietnam's growing economy could attract businesses that want and support investment in space, commercialize the industry, bring technology to businesses here, and take people to space, he said.

Pham Anh Tuan, general director of the Vietnam National Space Center, said Vietnam and the U.S. would discuss installing rare models and images of the universe at the center, sharing satellite data and cosmic science knowledge and partnering to explore space.

 
 
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