China Considers Woman Candidates for Space Missions

August 12, 2004
China first astronaut

After the first great success China plans to launch its second manned spacecraft next year.

Xinhua News Agency reported that China is considering a plan to select woman candidates and train them for space missions, but would not send women in space in the near future.

Qi Faren, designer-in-chief of the country's manned spacecraft, said "Although men and women are quite different physically, we can accommodate woman astronauts by changing parts of the facilities in the space vehicle, and there are no technical problems that cannot be overcome."

The Shenzhou VI spacecraft will be launched some time in 2005.

China launched its Shenzhou-5 manned spacecraft, with astronaut Yang Liwei aboard, on Oct. 15 from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province, northwest China.

China's first astronaut Yang Liwei and his spacecraft orbited the Earth 14 times before safely landing in north China the next day. Later Yang was conferred the title of "Space Hero".

The successful launch and return of the spacecraft made China the third country in space after Russia and the United States, and marked the initial success of the manned space program launched in 1992.

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