Female Astronauts to take Part in Next Manned Space Mission
For its next manned space mission planned to launch between June and August, China chose two female astronauts to be among the seven candidates. Also known as taikonauts, the candidates will be chosen to fly aboard Shenzhou-9 and will manually dock with the orbiting module Tiangong-1 where they will be conducting scientific experiments.
The identities of the female astronauts will be made public just before the launch; the two were selected among the fifteen candidates with requirements that they are married and have given birth naturally. The candidates must also have no scars on their body and no body odor, since a scar might open up in space and start bleeding and body odors can intensify in such cramped spaces. Even a condition such as tooth problems will disqualify a candidate as any minor ailment or sickness can cause severe problems in space.
According to a professor from the People’s Liberation Army Air Force General Hospital, married female astronauts that have given birth naturally, are more physically and mentally mature and tend to be more sensitive and communicate better than their male counterparts. Female astronauts are also more proficient in dealing with relationships with their space partners, which is important especially on long missions.
Candidates for the space mission were fighter pilots, and 15 females and 30 males astronauts were selected as reserves.