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
Mission insignia
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wang.

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 due to concerns that spaceflight could potentially harm women's fertility.[12][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.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Brenhouse, Hillary (25 March 2010). "China's Female Astronauts: Must Be a Married Mom". TIME. 
  13. ^ "For Liu Yang, sexism is still the final frontier". Retrieved June 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Exclusive interview: Astronauts selection process". CCTV News. CNTV. June 16, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]