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Astronaut recruitment net to be widened

(China Daily)    17:25, March 03, 2018

Yang Liwei, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), receives an interview ahead of the opening of the first session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 3, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will increase the number and types of candidates, as well as accepting women and applicants from universities and other institutions, when recruiting astronauts for future manned space missions, an official said on Saturday.

Major General Yang Liwei, deputy head of the China Manned Space Agency and the nation's first astronaut, made the comments ahead of the first session of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee on Saturday.

"China's space station project is in full swing, meaning the country's manned space missions have entered a new era of space station construction," he said.

The country's space station is under construction, and scientists are busy transforming the prototype of its core module into the final model, and are also researching and building prototypes for other modules, he said.

At the same time, the country's third batch of astronauts is being selected to provide enough personnel for frequent missions in the future. Space flights used to happen about every two to three years, "but now we need to launch at least two missions per year when building and operating the space station", Yang said.

The work backgrounds and types of people eligible for recruitment will also change. Before, pilots from the People's Liberation Army Air Force were usually selected, but in the future, flight engineers and scientists in related industries, universities and institutions will be eligible to join the space program, he said.

File Photo

Moreover, women will be encouraged to apply, similar to the second batch of astronauts recruited in 2010, in which the seven-strong team included two women.

"We invite more passionate young people to join the recruitment process to help transform our nation into a space powerhouse," Yang said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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