China plans to recruit additional astronauts for its growing human spaceflight program.
China has provided an update to its human spaceflight plans, announcing that a third selection round of 10-12 astronauts – including two women – will take place this year, while outlines of crewed missions to the future Chinese Space Station (CSS) are taking shape.
While the two previous rounds drew on air force pilots, the third astronaut selection will seek candidates with more diverse backgrounds, reflecting the changing requirements for CSS objectives.
“Scientific experiments are going to be a major part of the new space station, so we’re going to need astronauts who have the right backgrounds,” said Yang Liwei, deputy director of China’s manned space engineering office.
China has sent 11 astronauts into space, most recently on the Shenzhou-11 mission last October, the country’s longest by far at 33 days.
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