18 stand-by astronauts, including one female chosen during 3rd round of selection in China

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/1 12:00:08

File photo:Xinhua

Eighteen stand-by astronauts, including one female, have been selected in China's third selection of stand-by astronauts for the country's manned space flight project. 

The 18 stand-by astronauts include seven pilots, seven engineers and four payload specialists. The latter two are selected for the first time into China's astronaut team in order to meet  the requirements of the construction of China's space station. 

Pilots and engineers will be in charge of operating and managing the spacecraft and conducting technical experiments. The load experts will be responsible for on-orbit operation of scientific experimental payload. 

Pilots are selected from active pilots serving in the People's Liberation Army Air Force. Engineers are elected from engineering technicians in aerospace or related areas. Load specialists are selected from personnel in the fields of science research and application of manned space engineering. 

File photo:Xinhua

The third selection was launched in May 2018 and finished recently. A total of 2,500 candidates attended the selection. 

More selections will be held in accordance to the development of China's manned space industry. 

Chinese women are playing a more significant role in the country's aerospace programs, working as astronauts, helping develop aeromedicine and Mars exploration. 

Two Chinese female astronauts, Liu Yang and Wang Yaping, have entered space.

Liu, China's first female astronaut, who flew into space in June 2012 aboard Shenzhou 9, completed 15 aeromedicine experiments, including collecting harmful gas inside the capsule.

Wang's mission in 2013 was onboard the Tiangong-1 space lab module with five other astronauts. She delivered China's first televised science lecture to an audience of more than 60 million schoolchildren and teachers in China.

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