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Netizens eager to see China's 1st woman in space


08:09, June 14, 2012

Combination photos of Wang Yaping (L) and Liu Yang, female astronaut candidates for the soon-to-be-launched Shenzhou-9 spacecraft shown in the New Express, a Guangzhou-based newspaper on June 11, 2012. (Photo/New Express)

BEIJING - It won't be China's mythological moon goddess Chang'e this time, but a real Chinese woman.

Crew on the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft, scheduled to be launched sometime in mid-June to perform the country's first manned space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module, has been a hot topic among Chinese citizens over the past several days.

What fascinate netizens is that the crew might probably include a female.

Niu Hongguang, deputy commander-in-chief of the country's manned space program, said in March that the three-person crew on Shenzhou-9 might include female astronauts.

Although Niu said the final selection would be decided "on the very last condition," Chinese Internet users are eager to guess who will become the country's first woman in space.

Photos of two women candidates have been circulated over the Internet in the last few days.

Although space officials have not disclosed any information of the crew on Shenzhou-9, Chinese Internet users have already voiced their great pride in the upcoming space mission that will be thrust into space from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwest China's Gansu province.

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