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Shooting stars

Updated: 2022-04-06 08:45 ( China Daily )
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The Tianzhou 2 cargo spacecraft, which was launched in Hainan in May. [Photo by XIE JIXIAO/FOR CHINA DAILY]

The countdown. Ignition. Liftoff. The ground shakes. Plumes of exhaust and flame billow. And then a roar as the rocket ascends. An audience, at a safe distance some kilometers away, watches in awe as the event unfolds as if, at first, in slow motion as the rocket almost reluctantly reaches for the sky. Some of those viewing are there not just to witness but to record the process on livestreams, or through videos and photos that they share online.

They're SpaceLens-a group of young volunteer photographers, mostly university students and recent graduates.

Xie Jixiao and his friends co-founded the group about a year ago because they wanted to film the launch of China's Tiangong Space Station's core module Tianhe.

Last year witnessed great achievements for China's space industry, such as the successful completion of the first phase of its ambitious Tiangong space station program and landing a rover on Mars for scientific exploration. Additionally, 55 orbital launches last year saw the country rank No 1 globally in rocket launches.

When Xie first went to film rocket launches in 2020, he would take three or four cameras with tripods and different lenses. However, he soon realized that it meant he could only capture his various short videos and photos at a fixed spot.

"Many hands make light work, I thought. Why not get more people to shoot from different locations?" Xie, 22, who graduated from university last year, explains.

When the Tianhe core module was launched into space at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province last April, Xie and his friends rallied 40 volunteer photographers and 10 coordinators for their ambitious project.

The final short video went viral online, and Xinhua News Agency also posted it on their Bilibili account, attracting over 620,000 views.

"Good content matters. It's easier to make an excellent short video from lots of materials, gathered by everybody. Our work can be watched by more people, especially after being shared by a major media outlet," Xie says.

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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