China is currently wondering whether they will send women astronauts into space (now if they were not headed for space, would they still be called “astronauts”? Food for thought…) in their space docking missions sometime next year. At the moment, it seems as though a couple of women have already been shortlisted for possible flights when spacecraft Shenzhou-9 and 10 make their way to dock with space lab module Tiangong-1 in 2012.
According to Chen Shanguang, director of the Astronaut Center of China (ACC), “We must assess both male and female astronauts to verify if human beings can live in space as there are huge differences between men and women in spite of their common generalities. Space exploration activities would be incomplete without the participation of female astronauts.”
Sounds like Chen is a little bit in two minds about it, but he did reveal the fact that both astronauts are married and hover around 30 years of age.