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Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Aug 30, 2012
Russian women can be included into the country's cosmonauts team if they successfully complete all selection stages, Sergei Krikalev, head of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, said on Tuesday.
"A couple of women are close to being selected," Krikalev said. "There are chances that they will be."
So far, only three Russian female cosmonauts - Valentina Tereshkova, Svetlana Savitskaya and Yelena Kondakova - traveled into space. No Russian women flew into space since Kondakova's second space mission in May 1997.
The first open cosmonaut selection drive in the history of the Russian space industry was held between January 27 and March 15. About 300 people applied for the selection drive, about 30-40 of them were women.
So far, Yelena Serova is the only woman in the Russian cosmonaut team.
The center's deputy chief Igor Sokhin said earlier on Tuesday the training center will change the terms of future open cosmonaut selection drives.
To become a Russian cosmonaut, applicants need to be no older than 33, have a college degree and have at least five years of work experience, as well as meet exacting physical requirements, such as height when seated (80 to 99 centimeters).
Participation is not limited to technology aficionados; people with a background in humanities are also allowed to take part.
Source: RIA Novosti
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