Liu Yang (astronaut)
|PLAAF transport pilot|
Time in space
|Selection||Chinese Group 2|
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. On June 16, 2012, Liu became the first Chinese woman in space.
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.
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. During this crewed space mission, Liu performed experiments in space medicine.
Liu is a member of the Communist Party of China. She is married and has no siblings. In February 2015, it was confirmed that she had given birth, but no further information was given about her child. The news agency Xinhua reported a former spaceflight official as claiming that marriage was a requirement for all female Chinese astronauts due to concerns that spaceflight could potentially harm women's fertility and also "married women would be more physically and psychologically mature." 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.
Liu has been described as an eloquent speaker, an avid reader and also a lover of cooking.
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