Chinese woman may reach space by 2012

April 30th, 2011 - 12:41 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Apr 30 (ANI): China’s female astronauts could fly into space as soon as the latter half of 2012.

The two women astronauts, both pilots from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force, are the first women astronauts in China.

Yang Liwei, deputy director of China Manned Space Engineering Office and also China’s first astronaut in space, said that next year China will launch two spacecraft to further improve China’s rendezvous and docking technologies and one of the spacecraft will be manned.

“Two to three astronauts will be sent to space in that mission next year,” the China Daily quoted him, as saying.

Fei Junlong, leader of China’s astronaut team, told reporters that the two women astronauts and five men astronauts - the second batch of Chinese astronauts selected last year - have to take a three-year training course before carrying out space missions.

But Yang said that there are possibilities for women to join next year’s mission.

Yang and Fei, as well as Chen Shanguang, director of the Astronaut Center of China, introduced China’s manned space programs to 56 overseas reporters on Friday at the “space town” in the northern Beijing suburb, where astronauts are trained. (ANI)

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