Liu Yang (astronaut)

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Liu Yang
LIU Yang CUHK 2012.JPG
Nationality Chinese
Born (1978-10-06) 6 October 1978 (age 38)
Zhengzhou, Henan, China
Previous occupation
PLAAF transport pilot
Rank Major
Time in space
13 days
Selection Chinese Group 2[1]
Missions Shenzhou 9
Mission insignia
Shenzhou 9 mission patch.png
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Liu.

Liu Yang (simplified Chinese: 刘洋; traditional Chinese: 劉洋; pinyin: Liú Yáng; born October 6, 1978) is a Chinese pilot and astronaut who served as a crew member on the space mission Shenzhou 9.[2][3] On 16 June 2012, Liu became the first Chinese woman in space.[4]


Liu was born in Zhengzhou, Henan in 1978,[5] into a family of Linzhou, Anyang origin.[6] She graduated from People's Liberation Army Air Force Aviation College of Changchun (空军长春飞行学院, now 中国人民解放军空军航空大学, Aviation University of Air Force).

Liu joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force in 1997 and qualified as a pilot before becoming the deputy head of a flight unit, holding the PLAAF rank of major. She is a veteran pilot with 1,680 hours of flying experience. After two years of astronaut training, Liu excelled in testing before being selected with another woman, Wang Yaping, as a candidate for the astronaut corps.[7]

Liu was selected for the crew of Shenzhou 9, the first manned mission to the Chinese space station Tiangong 1, along with Jing Haipeng, the first repeat Chinese space traveller, and Liu Wang. Liu became the first female Chinese astronaut to go into space. The mission was launched on 16 June 2012, 49 years to the day after the first female space traveller, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was launched.[8] During this manned space mission, Liu performed experiments in space medicine.

Personal life[edit]

Liu is a member of the Communist Party of China.[9] She has no siblings and is married.[9][10] In February 2015, it was confirmed that she had given birth, but no further information was given about her child.[11] The news agency Xinhua reported a former spaceflight official as claiming that marriage was a requirement for all female Chinese astronauts[8] due to concerns that spaceflight could potentially harm women's fertility[12] and also "married women would be more physically and psychologically mature."[13] 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.[14]

Liu has been described as an eloquent speaker, an avid reader and also a lover of cooking.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Xinhua (2011-10-31). "China mulls over sending female "taikonauts" into space". Xinhua. 
  2. ^ "China readies three taikonauts for station visit". Planetary Society. 
  3. ^ Zhang Dan (2012-06-18). "US media focuses on Chinese female astronaut". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  4. ^ Du Xiaodan (2012-06-16). "China launches spaceship with first female astronaut". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  5. ^ "Liu Yang Born in Zhengzhou University Hospital" (in Chinese). Phoenix Television. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Visiting The Hometown of Liu yang" (in Chinese). Phoenix Television. June 18, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "China prepares for launch, names female astronaut". CNN News. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  8. ^ a b Moskowitz, Clara (2012-06-15). "China Unveils Astronaut Crew, 1st Female Spaceflyer, for Saturday Launch". Retrieved 2012-06-16. 
  9. ^ a b Amos, Jonathan (16 June 2012). "China launches space mission with first woman astronaut". BBC. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "女航天员刘洋婆婆:希望媳妇能尽快生个孩子_资讯频道_凤凰网". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ Brenhouse, Hillary (25 March 2010). "China's Female Astronauts: Must Be a Married Mom". TIME. 
  13. ^ Malik, Tariq (2010-03-10). "Just One Hitch in Choosing China's First Women Astronauts". Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  14. ^ "Exclusive interview: Astronauts selection process". CCTV News. CNTV. June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  15. ^ BBC News (16 June 2012). "Profile of Liu Yang, China's first woman astronaut". BBC News. 

External links[edit]