If all goes according to plan, Captain Wang Yaping might be the first woman from China in space. She is one of two female candidates being considered for the next manned space mission from China.
Much has been written about China’s decision to send a woman into orbit – from the extra water allowance to the private changing room to the approval to take light cosmetics. The newspapers in Hong Kong and China have feature stories about how the gender difference will play itself out in space.
The next mission is planned for any day now. A rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft was moved to a launch pad in China’s desert north-west on Saturday. Program officials cite a mid-June launch date.
The launch will provide the first opportunity for China to connect with its Tiangong 1 “Heavenly Palace” Chinese space station. This unmanned station has been circling earth awaiting astronauts to board.
As a child of the Cold War, it’s fitting that a year after the USA closed its space program China is preparing for another lift-off.
I wish the crew – men and women alike – all the greatest success on their mission!