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Plan aimed at training first woman astronaut
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-29 00:25

China will start training women astronauts in the next year, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Candidates will be selected from senior high school graduates in good health, the report quoted Huang Chunping as saying.

Huang, director of the carrier rockets' system of China's manned space programme, made the remarks on Tuesday during a lecture held in the city of Fuzhouin East China's Fujian Province.

The All-China Women's Federation called on the central government to train women astronauts in March.

Huang said candidates will be trained to pilot an airplane first and then to learn about spacecrafts. It will take a long time before they are qualified to be the country's first woman astronaut.

Last October, China became the third nation to send a man into space when it successfully launched Shenzhou V, which carried Yang Liwei and circled the Earth 14 times during a 21-hour trip.

Huang said that in the second half of 2005, China will send off its second manned spacecraft, Shenzhou VI, with two astronauts on board for a five day mission.

Huang also said a third flight, Shenzhou VII, would aim to have the astronaut do a spacewalk.

China also hopes to build a space lab by 2010 and a space station by 2015, Huang said.

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