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China to complete selection of new taikonauts this year: space agency

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-05-29 16:10
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JIUQUAN -- The selection of the fourth batch of taikonauts, China's new generation of astronauts, is proceeding as planned and will be completed by the end of this year, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced at a press conference on Monday.

The selection process was launched in 2022 and will result in 12 to 14 reserve taikonauts being picked, each with different specialisms, such as spacecraft pilots, flight engineers and payload specialists, said CMSA Spokesperson Lin Xiqiang.

"For the first time, the post of payload specialist is open to people from Hong Kong and Macao," Lin noted.

By March 2023, the first stage of the selection process had been completed, and more than 100 candidates then entered the second round, including more than 10 from Hong Kong and Macao.

According to Lin, candidates for the space pilot role are selected from among active military pilots, while flight engineers and payload experts are taken from industrial sectors as well as colleges and universities.

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