Wang Yaping or Liu Yang: Who will be China’s First Space Woman

2012-05-20 (China Military News cited from spx and by Tony Quine) — China will definitely launch a female air force pilot into space, onboard the ambitious Shenzhou 9 rendezvous and docking mission, likely to launch in mid-June, according to a senior space programme official.

Speaking at a ceremony, to mark the departure of the Long March 2F booster to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, Chinese Academy of Launch Technology, Commander in Chief, Liu Yu, commented that the rocket would be used to launch China’s first woman into space, along with two male colleagues.

Wang Yaping

Wang Yaping

Liu Yang

Liu Yang (front)

The announcement was not entirely unexpected. In late 2011, Chinese officials had hinted that a woman might be included in the crew of the planned Shenzhou 10 mission, in 2013. Then, in March, Qi Faren, the former Chief Designer of Shenzhou, implied that the female crew assignment could be brought forward to Shenzhou 9, depending on examination results.

China is known to have only two female taikonauts, and although they have never been named officially, their identities have been circulating on Chinese and English language websites, for many months.

Either Major Wang Yaping, 32, from Yantai, Shandong Province, or Major Liu Yang, 33, from Zhengzhou, Henan Province will be selected for the mission. Both women are married, and are career pilots in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, which they both joined direct from high school, in 1997. They were drafted for spaceflight training, in early 2010, from a pool of just 15 potential female candidates.

So far, there has been no official indication of the identity of any of the Shenzhou 9 prime, or back-up, crew members.

Chinese officials have previously said that, the final crew for Shenzhou 9 would not be selected until the final hours before launch.

Shenzhou 9 is scheduled to rendezvous, and complete a manual docking, with the orbiting Tiangong 1 module, and will stay in orbit for 13 days. It will be China’s most complex, and longest, spaceflight, more than doubling their current endurance record.


  1. they are using women as they are becoming more smarter, lets face it most girls in school in china study a lot harder than, boys and boys end up going out playing games and never go to class, its only very few Chinese boys that study hard that become any thing much in life, and being a astronauts, is the best of the best.

    the other way to look at it is more men in china are weak in mind and are cowards, they can not fight endless they have 10 other men with them, unlike men in the USA or Australia that done need others to fight for them, (fight is to say work hard)

    maybe Chinese men wants to kill of some of the better looking girls in china as if any thing happen the men are safe on the ground.

    there is many ways to look at it, but all in all the girls are becoming more smart and learn a lot more. many girls will not marry with a home and lots of money so they may be in it for the money, but I don’t know how much they would get paid for do this work.

  2. Female astronauts are produced by the state. The spacecrafts and the astronauts are most likely produced by men. Just like the people who produce those games that men play. The purpose behind producing a female astronaut is to encourage gender equality. Its to let women know that they can also become something besides just being a housewife. So scenarios like this are created to encourage this ideal amongst all women.

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