China to send another female astronaut to space
Updated: 2013-06-04 10:32
China is set to send another female astronaut to space in the upcoming manned spacecraft Shenzhou X mission.
Wang Yaping, 35, will join the three-person crew and become China's second female astronaut sent to space after Liu Yang, who was on board the Shenzhou IX last year.
"Wang is highly likely to be sent to space if she is in good condition," said Zhang Jianqi, director general of the China Space Foundation and former deputy commander of the country's manned space program, confirming domestic media reports.
Wang and Liu were both selected as candidates for the Shenzhou IX mission. Wang then became Liu's backup.
Wang, a native of Yantai, East China's Shandong province, was selected as a pilot at the age of 17. She participated in the rescue work after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 and piloted the aircraft for the artificial rain mission during the Beijing Olympic Games.
The Shenzhou X spacecraft, carried by a Long March-2F rocket, was transported on Monday morning to the launch site in Jiuquan, Northwest China's Gansu province. The spacecraft, which will be launched in mid-June from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, will dock with the lab module Tiangong-1.