China's mother of astronaut selections

On this blog, I've shared information about recent astronaut selections by NASA in the US, CSA in Canada, ESA in Europe, JAXA in Japan, and even the possibility for astronauts from ISRO in India.  Now China is making news with its latest astronaut selection.  According to China Daily and the Guardian, China has chosen seven new astronauts from a pool of 45 air force pilots.  The names have not been released yet, but all are between the ages of 27 and 34, and five hail from Shandong Province.

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images from
Two of the seven new recruits are females, and interestingly, only mothers were considered for the job.  This was ostensibly due to concerns for their reproductive well being according to officials since "there is little evidence on how the space experience will affect the female constitution." I guess the effect of space on the male ability to reproduce isn't as important.  The articles fail to mention that women are generally lighter and consume less food, air, and water compared with men, making them potentially less expensive to send into space. It does, however, state that women are "more mentally stable, better able to bear loneliness and [have] better communication skills [than men]."  The first Chinese woman/mother in space could fly as soon as 2012.

May 10, 2010 Update

Some more details about the new female Chinese astronauts are available here.


Norman Copeland said…
The opportunities for women to explore in space is a good thing, regardless of nationality, but, it is interesting to note a woman's behaviour when given flowers, that could be an indication of chemical distribution factors that could be decisive when considering molecular stimulation and encouragement to flowering.

Anyway, thought you perhaps would like this!!!
PillowNaut said…
"Mothers Only" - that's a new one! And how delightful of them to be concerned about the "female constitution" LOL!! I'm confused though... many women have gone into space and had perfectly healthy babies afterward - including Valentina Tereshkova. She married a cosmonaut and they had a baby together: indeed, the first child produced from two space travelers (she's a doctor now).

Shannon Lucid had 3 babies in and around 5 space trips. Ochoa, Currie, Kondakova, I could go on and on... wonder what China thinks could possibly happen? ;)
BrianShiro said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
BrianShiro said…
One thing I failed to mention in my writeup was that not only did China restrict their female candidates to mothers only. They had to be married mothers. According to the article below, the reason for this was because " married women would be more physically and psychologically mature."

China Daily: China's first two women astronauts selected
PillowNaut said…
And despite all scientific evidence that females mature faster than males at every stage of life... feminine maturity is now contingent on marrying a male?

Cuz you know, god forbid we send any self-sufficient, independent spinsters into space who make our own money, buy our own property, cover our own taxes, make our own decisions and lead our own lives without a partner or offspring, LOL...

Ah once again, my uterus is my destiny. Thanks China! :)

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