Joining Chinese space mission doesn’t come easy! (Lead)

March 25th, 2012 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 25 (IANS) China has selected its first two women astronauts for the next manned space mission to be launched between June and August. The selection process required them to be married, given birth naturally and have neither decayed teeth nor even a scar.

According to the Space International magazine under the China Academy of Space Technology, the two women astronauts, whose identity would be revealed only before the launch, were selected from 15 women, the Shanghai Daily reported.

These candidates should be married and have neither scars nor body odour. Besides, they should have given birth naturally, it added.

Pang Zhihao, of the magazine, said: “They even should not have decayed teeth because any small flaw might cause great trouble or a disaster in space.”

A scar might open and start bleeding in space and the cramped conditions would intensify body odour, said Pang.

The female astronauts must be married and have given birth naturally because that ensures their body and mental condition are mature enough, said Xu Xianrong, a professor with the General Hospital of the PLA Air Force.

According to Li Wei, deputy designer for spacecraft systems with the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation, three Chinese astronauts will be finally chosen from the candidates to fly aboard the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft.

Shenzhou-9 will manually dock with Tiangong-1, an orbiting module of the country’s planned space station, and conduct scientific experiments, Li added.

The seven candidates for Shenzhou-9 were picked from fighter pilots. Another 45 astronauts, 15 female and 30 male, were selected as backups, Li said.

The former Soviet Union sent the world’s first female astronaut, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova, into space in 1963.

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