Chinese female astronauts may catch flight

Last Updated: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 13:18

Beijing: The initial selection of crew members for China`s first manned space docking mission has been completed, and it includes female astronauts, an official said.

But the final three-person crew will be decided "on the very last condition", said Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of the country`s manned space program.

The manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 will take its crew members to board the Tiangong-1 space module lab, which was launched in September last year and completed the country`s first space docking with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft in November, reported Xinhua.

The selected astronauts are in training at the moment, Niu said on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

"The perfect docking between Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1 has laid the perfect foundation for the manned docking this year," Niu said, noting that the manned docking will feature brand new technology.

Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace-1, has been orbiting normally for more than 160 days, and is capable of docking with Shenzhou-9 and accommodating astronauts, he said.


First Published: Monday, March 12, 2012 - 13:18
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