Friday, June 15, 2012

China to Send Married Woman to Space Saturday

China sending first woman in space to test module

By Ng Han Guan on June 15, 2012
JIUQUAN, China (AP) — China will send its first woman and two other astronauts into space Saturday to work on a temporary space station for about a week, in a key step toward becoming only the third nation to set up a permanent base in orbit.
Liu Yang, a 34-year-old air force pilot, and two male colleagues will be launched Saturday aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which will dock with the bus-sized Tiangong 1 space module now orbiting at 343 kilometers (213 miles) above the Earth.
"Arranging for women astronauts to fly is not only a must for the development of human spaceflight, but also the expectation of the public," space program spokeswoman Wu Ping said. "This is a landmark event."


China's first female astronaut: Who is she? (+video)

Liu Yang, a fighter pilot, is slated to become China's first female astronaut to travel into space on Saturday.

In this April 18 photo, Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, is shown during training in Beijing, China.

Chinese space museum officials talk about the upcoming launch of a Chinese spacecraft that will take the first Chinese woman into space.
Liu Yang, a 34-year-old fighter pilot, will become China's first female astronaut to travel into space. After conquering a rigorous selection process and completing two years of intense astronautic training, she will join two male crewmates, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang, on the upcoming mission.
Yang lives in Beijing, but hails from the central Chinese province of Henan, a relatively poor but heavily populated agricultural region. According to Xinhua, the official state news agency, she is an eloquent speaker, an avid reader and a lover of cooking. She is also married, as per the China space program's requirements. According to the newspaper China Daily, female Chinese astronauts must be married and preferably be mothers, because of concerns that higher levels of radiation in space would "harm their fertility."



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