Wang Yaping

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Wang Yaping
Shenzhou astronaut
Born April 1978 or January 1980
Yantai, Shandong
Rank Captain
Selection Chinese Group 2 [1]
Missions Shenzhou 10

Captain Wang Yaping (simplified Chinese: 王亚平; traditional Chinese: 王亞平; pinyin: Wáng Yàpíng; born 27.01.1980[dubious ] in Yantai, Shandong) is a Chinese military pilot and an astronaut.[2] Wang was the second female astronaut to be named by the Chinese authorities, and the second Chinese woman in space.


Wang is a captain in the People's Liberation Army Air Force.[3]

She was a candidate for the space mission Shenzhou 9 in 2012.[4] However, Liu Yang was selected over her for the historic mission of the first Chinese female space traveller.[5] Wang was a member of the backup crew for SZ-9.[6]

Wang became the second Chinese female astronaut as a member of the Shenzhou 10 spaceship crew, which orbited the earth in June 2013,[7] and of the Tiangong-1 orbiting space station with which it docked.[8] She was the first member of the crew announced, in April, while the remainder of the crew were announced in June.[6] Wang Yaping was one of only two women in space on the 50th anniversary of Vostok 6, the first spaceshot by a woman, Valentina Tereshkova. The other woman in space on 16 June 2013 was Karen Nyberg, an American astronaut aboard the International Space Station.[9] While aboard Tiangong-1, Wang conducted scientific experiments and taught a physics lesson to Chinese students by live television broadcast.[10]


According to the official Shenzhou 10 report, Wang Yaping's birth date is stated as "January 1980," which is incongruent with that of the Shenzhou 9 report. In the previous report, her birth date was "April, 1978."[11]

Personal life[edit]

Wang is married, which one former official claimed is required for all women who are part of the Chinese space program.[5] However, this requirement has been officially denied by the director of the China Astronaut Centre, stating that this is a preference but not a strict limitation.[12][13]


  1. ^ Xinhua (2011-10-31). "China mulls over sending female "taikonauts" into space". Xinhua. 
  2. ^ Identity of one of the Chinese female taikonaut candidates revealed
  3. ^ Spacefacts biography
  4. ^ "China readies three taikonauts for station visit". Planetary Society. 
  5. ^ a b, "China Unveils Astronaut Crew, 1st Female Spaceflyer, for Saturday Launch", 15 June 2012, Clara Moskowitz
  6. ^ a b Morris Jones (3 April 2013). "Shenzhou's Shadow Crew". Space Daily. 
  7. ^ William Harwood (June 25, 2013). "Chinese astronauts complete space mission, return to Earth". CBS News. Retrieved October 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ "China to launch Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft on June 11". Xinhua. June 10, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2012. 
  9. ^ Ken Kremer (16 June 2013). "Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova; 1st Woman in Space 50 Years Ago! Ready for Mars". Universe Today. 
  10. ^ Clark, Stephen (11 June 2013). "Successful start for China's fifth human spaceflight". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Female Astronaut - Shenzhou 9 Docking Mission with Tiangong-1". China Network Television. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  12. ^ "For Liu Yang, sexism is still the final frontier". Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Exclusive interview: Astronauts selection process". CCTV News. CNTV. June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 

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