Wang Yaping: China's first teacher in space

Updated: 2013-06-20 11:17


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Wang Yaping: China's first teacher in space

China's second female astronaut and first teacher in space Wang Yaping [Photo/Xinhua]

Wang Yaping,born in January 1980, is from East China's Shandong Province, the hometown of China's most famous educationist Confucius (551-479 BC). She was a transport aircraft pilot in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force with experience of 1,600 hours of flying.

The world's first teacher in space was Christa McAuliffe, a 37-year-old middle school teacher from the United States, but the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated after 73 seconds into flight on January 28, 1986. McAuliffe and other six crew members were killed.

Barbara Morgan, McAuliffe's backup in that mission who became an astronaut later, completed the teaching lesson in space in 2007, when she was sent into the International Space Station with Space Shuttle Endeavor. Via a video feed, she showed students how to exercise and drink water in space.

Besides the space lecture, Wang will be responsible for monitoring the conditions of spacecraft, space experiments and operation of equipment, among others.

Wang was recruited to the People's Liberation Army in August 1997 and became a member of the Communist Party of China in May 2000. Currently, she is a major.

In May 2010, Wang became a member of the second batch of Chinese astronauts and was selected to the crew of the Shenzhou X space mission in April 2013. She is China's second female astronaut being sent into space after Liu Yang who was aboard the Shenzhou IX spacecraft.

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