Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




DRAGON SPACE
Why is China sending a woman into space?
by Tony Quine
Isle of Man UK (SPX) Jun 01, 2012


illustration only

"China's first female astronauts have, trained hard and conscientiously, and are now ready to take part in the Shenzhou manned spaceflights. For all astronauts the implementation of a manned spaceflight is our primary duty. They are both now ready to accept selection, by the motherland, and the Chinese people, at any moment." This was according to Major General Fei Junlong, commander of the twenty-one person Chinese astronaut team, speaking in January.

However, the decision to include a woman in next month's Shenzhou 9 crew has surprised and intrigued Western observers. China's manned space programme is progressing at a modest pace and the imminent Shenzhou 9 mission will be only the fourth manned flight in nearly nine years.

If the launch goes well Shenzhou 9 will dock with the orbiting Tiangong 1 module, and the three person crew will go inside for a ten day stay. It is an ambitious and complex mission, which will need a well prepared, well trained and courageous crew.

China's only female taikonauts, Liu Yang and Wang Yaping only reported to the Astronaut Training Centre in May 2010, two months after being selected.

In contrast, the seven men in the training group have all been preparing for spaceflight since 1998 and were previously fighter pilots, whilst Liu and Wang were plucked from the more sedate world of turbo-prop transports. They are however, both military officers.

Whilst China reveals little detail about its training regime, it seems unlikely that basic training could be completed in less than 12-18 months. So it appears that both women must have transferred to advanced training for the Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 (due next year) docking missions, almost immediately.

So, why the apparent urgency to send an inexperienced woman into orbit, on this high profile flight?

Perhaps there has simply been political pressure to send a woman into orbit? Women's Groups in China have been lobbying for a woman in space since 2004.

Perhaps the Chinese are seeking early comparative data on women's performance in space, ahead of longer or more ambitious flights, in the future?

Although both are military pilots, it seems unlikely that the chosen woman will actual fly Shenzhou. Maybe part of their role is to demonstrate that the third seat on Shenzhou can be occupied by an adequately prepared passenger or researcher.

Possibly the Chinese want to demonstrate an ability to select, train and launch a taikonaut in only two years, as a precursor to Tiangong 2 and 3 missions, later in the decade, when they will wish to send engineers, scientists and, maybe, doctors into orbit, perhaps without taking them from their mainstream careers for many years, in advance.

Whatever the precise rationale, the inclusion of the inexperienced Liu or Wang in the Shenzhou 9 crew, seems to reflect a high level of confidence from the normally cautious Chinese mission planners, in both their crew selection processes and their space hardware.

The prime crew for the Shenzhou 9 mission will be named in the next few days, and shortly afterwards, either Liu or Wang will be launched, not just into orbit, but into Chinese history.

Tony Quine is a long time observer of the Russian and Chinese manned space programmes and a regular author and contributor to both online and published media.

.


Related Links
SpaceDaily
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DRAGON SPACE
China launches telecommunication satellite
Xichang (XNA) May 30, 2012
China successfully sent a telecommunication satellite, "ChinaSat 2A," into orbit on Saturday evening, using a Long March-3B carrier rocket launched from the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The rocket blasted off at 11:56 p.m. Beijing time. The satellite, developed by China Academy of Space Technology, will be used to meet the demands for China's radio and TV broadcastin ... read more


DRAGON SPACE
UA Lunar-Mining Team Wins National Contest

NASA Lunar Spacecraft Complete Prime Mission Ahead of Schedule

NASA Offers Guidelines To Protect Historic Sites On The Moon

Neil Armstrong gives rare interview - to accountant

DRAGON SPACE
Wind may have driven avalanches on Martian dunes

On The Hunt For Light-Toned Veins Of Gypsum

Mars missions may learn from meteor Down Under

Waking Up with the Sun's Rays

DRAGON SPACE
New Moon for India

Boeing Completes Software PDR Of New Crew Ship

NASA hails 'new era' in exploration

CU astronaut-alumnus Scott Carpenter looks back at 50th anniversary of Aurora 7 mission

DRAGON SPACE
Why is China sending a woman into space?

China launches telecommunication satellite

Tiangong 1 Ready To Meet Shenzhou 9

Sri Lanka plans to launch its first satellite in 2015

DRAGON SPACE
Capillarity in Space - Then and Now, 1962-2012

Dragon on board

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Dragon on Historic Mission

SpaceX Dragon Transports Student Experiments to Space Station

DRAGON SPACE
SpaceX Dragon capsule splash lands in Pacific

US cargo ship on return voyage from space station

US cargo vessel prepares to leave space station

Once Upon a Time

DRAGON SPACE
Astronomers Probe 'Evaporating' Planet Around Nearby Star with Hobby-Eberly Telescope

Venus transit may boost hunt for other worlds

NSO To Use Venus Transit To Fine-Tune Search For Other Worlds

Newfound exoplanet may turn to dust

DRAGON SPACE
Netflix tops Apple in booming US online movies

The finest gold dust in the world

Microreactors to produce explosive materials

Short movies stored in an atomic vapor




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement