Liu Yang (astronaut)

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Liu Yang
LIU Yang CUHK 2012.JPG
Born (1978-10-06) October 6, 1978 (age 42)
NationalityChina Chinese
Space career
PLAAC Astronaut
Previous occupation
PLAAF transport pilot
RankColonel, PLASSF
Time in space
13 days
SelectionChinese Group 2[1]
MissionsShenzhou 9
Liu Yang
Traditional Chinese劉洋
Simplified Chinese刘洋

Colonel Liu Yang (born October 6, 1978) is a Chinese military pilot and astronaut who served as a crew member on the space mission Shenzhou 9.[2][3] On June 16, 2012, Liu became the first Chinese woman in space.[4]


Liu was born in Zhengzhou, Henan in 1978,[5] into a worker's family of Linzhou, Anyang origin.[6][7] She graduated from PLA Air Force Aviation University in Changchun.

Liu joined the PLA 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.[8]

Liu was selected for the crew of Shenzhou 9, the first crewed 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 June 16, 2012, 49 years to the day after the first female space traveller, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was launched.[9] During this crewed space mission, Liu performed experiments in space medicine.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Liu is a member of the Communist Party of China.[10] She is married and has no siblings.[10][11] In February 2015, it was confirmed that she had given birth, but no further information was given about her child.[12] The news agency Xinhua reported a former spaceflight official as claiming that marriage was a requirement for all female Chinese astronauts[9] due to concerns that spaceflight could potentially harm women's fertility[13] and also "married women would be more physically and psychologically mature."[14] 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.[15]

Liu has been described as an eloquent speaker, an avid reader and also a lover of cooking.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "China mulls over sending female "taikonauts" into space". Xinhuanet. Xinhua. October 31, 2011. Archived from the original on November 1, 2011.
  2. ^ "China readies three taikonauts for station visit". Planetary Society. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Zhang Dan (June 18, 2012). "US media focuses on Chinese female astronaut". Archived from the original on September 30, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  4. ^ Du Xiaodan (June 16, 2012). "China launches spaceship with first female astronaut". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "Liu Yang Born in Zhengzhou University Hospital" (in Chinese). Phoenix Television. June 21, 2012. Retrieved June 22, 2012.
  6. ^ Jin Feng (金凤) (2012). "Female Astronaut liu Yang, Rose Bloom in Space" 《女航天员刘洋,铿锵玫瑰太空绽放》b. 《老年人》 [Old Folks]. Lao Nian Ren (in Chinese). Changsha, Hunan. pp. 12–13. ISSN 1007-2616.
  7. ^ "Visiting The Hometown of Liu yang" (in Chinese). Phoenix Television. June 18, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "China prepares for launch, names female astronaut". CNN News. June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Moskowitz, Clara (June 15, 2012). "China Unveils Astronaut Crew, 1st Female Spaceflyer, for Saturday Launch". Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Amos, Jonathan (June 16, 2012). "China launches space mission with first woman astronaut". BBC. Retrieved June 16, 2012.
  11. ^ "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 June 18, 2012.
  12. ^ "China's 1st Female Astronaut Becomes Mom, Resumes Training". The New York Times. Associated Press. February 12, 2015. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
  13. ^ Brenhouse, Hillary (March 25, 2010). "China's Female Astronauts: Must Be a Married Mom". Time.
  14. ^ Malik, Tariq (March 10, 2010). "Just One Hitch in Choosing China's First Women Astronauts". Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  15. ^ "Exclusive interview: Astronauts selection process". CCTV News. CNTV. June 16, 2012. Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
  16. ^ "Profile of Liu Yang, China's first woman astronaut". BBC News. June 16, 2012.

External links[edit]