One of the few Chinese women astronauts is now expected to be named among the whole crew of the upcoming Shenzhou 13 mission that is to land on the Chinese space station. Wang Yaping is expected to be the first Chinese woman onboard China's new Space Station.
Shenzhou 12 Three-Member Crew
According to Space, the three-member crew of the previous Shenzhou 12 has just arrived back on Earth after a whole 90 days of being onboard the Tianhe module of the official Tiangong space station. China, however, is already gearing up in order to get ready for the next visit to its new orbital outpost.
The Tianzhou 3 cargo spacecraft reportedly launched and docked with the Tianhe on September 20, 2021 carrying around 13,000lbs of supplies. The next crew is now expected to launch on Shenzhou 13 around October 3, 2021, as reported by SCMP, from Jiuquan, located in the Gobi Desert.
Chinese Media Openly Discussing Crew
While the crew has not been officially announced yet, Chinese media are now openly discussing the reported inclusion of a certain female astronaut, as noted in an article by GlobalTimes. The assumptions actually appear to be well-founded.
The new backup crew for Shenzhou 12 mission, which reportedly sent Liu Boming, Nie Haisheng, and Tang Hongbo to orbit, were Wang Yaping, Zhai Zhigang, and Ye Guangfu. Zhai reportedly flew back in 2008 when he commanded the Shenzhou 7 mission.
Wang Yaping Second Chinese Woman in Space
Ye has reportedly yet to fly into space but has already participated in the official European Space Agency's Cooperative Adventure for Valuing as well as Exercising Human Behavior and Performance Skills, otherwise known as CAVES. The CAVES astronaut training program reportedly happened in July 2016 alongside other NASA astronauts.
Wang Yaping, meanwhile, was able to become the second Chinese woman in space in 2013 aboard the Shenzhou 10. The ship reportedly visited Tiangong 1, which is a space lab that was designed as a testbed for the bigger Tianhe module. During this mission, Wang then delivered a lecture to school children from orbit.
Wang Acted as Backup Crew for Shenzhou 9
Wang was reportedly part of the backup crew for Shenzhou 9. That particular backup lineup then got the actual go-ahead for Shenzhou. Wang is also reportedly known to have been in training earlier this 2021 for space station missions.
If finally confirmed for Shenzhou 13, Wang would then become the first person to visit the official Chinese Space Station. Her expected participation is reportedly notable, given that China's very own astronaut corps is predominantly men.
Just two of the 12 Chinese astronauts who have reportedly flown to space so far have actually been women. The very first was Liu Yang on Shenzhou 9 back in 2012. This was a year before Wang's own flight. Back in July 2021, China launched its first space mission after a long period of five years since its last launch.
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Written by Urian B.