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Wang Yaping: China is about to send the first female astronaut to work on its new space station


Wang Yaping, 41, is a part of a three-member group heading for the Tiangong — or Heavenly Palace — area station, the place she is anticipated to turn out to be the primary Chinese language lady to conduct a spacewalk.

China’s intention to finish the station and have it absolutely crewed by December 2022 is an formidable goal nevertheless it seems to be on the right track. Final month, three different Chinese language astronauts efficiently accomplished a three-month keep on board, throughout which they labored on the station’s core module and carried out two spacewalks to put in gear.

This time, Wang’s group will keep for 183 days — the longest stint in area by Chinese language astronauts. She shall be accompanied by mission commander Zhai Zhigang, 55, and Ye Guangfu, 41.

Their spacecraft is scheduled to take off from the Gobi Desert in northwest China at 12:23 a.m. Beijing time on Saturday (12:23 p.m. ET Friday), the China Manned House Program mentioned Thursday.

Preparations for his or her keep have been lengthy within the making. Final month, a cargo vessel delivered 6 metric tons of meals, water, oxygen bottles, spacesuits and different requirements to the station.

Will probably be Wang’s second area mission. A significant within the Chinese language Folks’s Liberation Military Air Pressure and a transport airplane pilot, she was recruited as an aspiring astronaut in 2010.

In 2013, she spent 15 days in orbit with the Shenzhou-10 mission. From a trial area station module, she gave a science lecture to 60 million college students throughout China — displaying them floor rigidity of liquids in area, conducting kung fu strikes and answering questions.

In an interview with CNN in 2015, Wang recounted the primary second she seemed down on Earth from area.

“Once I seemed out of the window for the primary time, I spotted the true which means of the facility of life… that sort of magnificence was simply past comprehension,” she mentioned.

In accordance with Wang, a manned area program with out feminine astronauts can be incomplete.

“It is sort of a lady’s function within the household. Ladies have obligations. We additionally make critical missions extra vigorous and nice,” she mentioned.

And feminine crew members deliver a sensible profit too, Wang added. “We girls astronauts weigh much less (than males, and) that is extra economical to the mission.”

Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping attends a news briefing the day before the launch, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert, on October 14.

Wang is China’s second lady in area, after fellow astronaut Liu Yang. In 2012, Liu made historical past by becoming a member of a three-person crew on the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft — a milestone celebrated by girls throughout China.

Liu’s area mission got here 49 years to the day after the Soviet Union put Valentina Tereshkova into area — making her the world’s first feminine astronaut in outer area.

Feminine astronauts have come a good distance since Tereshkova made that first journey. According to NASA, as of March this yr, 65 girls have flown in area, together with cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists and area station contributors.
In 1983, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride turned the primary American girls in area — however again then, the male-dominated area business seemed to be fairly clueless about girls’s wants.

As Journey ready for her journey on the House Shuttle STS-7, NASA engineers famously requested her what number of tampons she would possibly want for per week in orbit.

“Is 100 the best quantity?” Journey recalled them asking, based on the transcript of a 2012 NASA oral historical past mission.

In a terse reply, she advised they halve that estimate.

Varsha Jain, gynecologist and researcher at Kings School London, previously told CNN that whereas most programs within the human physique are closely affected throughout spaceflight, the feminine menstrual cycle would not appear to vary in any respect.

Her analysis discovered that the majority feminine astronauts choose to make use of contraceptives and put their intervals on maintain, each in preparation for and through spaceflight.

For missions that final a number of weeks, astronauts are in a position to make use of oral contraceptives to time their cycles accordingly. However Jain mentioned no analysis has been finished on long-term use of contraceptives in area, for missions that final for months and even years.

In accordance with Chinese language state media, among the many provides despatched to the Tiangong area station have been 60 bottles of toner, 30 bottles of serum and 30 bottles of face cream, in addition to female hygiene merchandise — all specifically ready for Wang.

Loss of life sentence for livestream homicide

A person who set his ex-wife on fireplace as she livestreamed to her on-line followers was sentenced to demise on Thursday, concluding a homicide case that acquired nationwide notoriety.

The sufferer, 30-year-old Lhamo, was a farmer and livestreamer in a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in southwestern Sichuan province. She was streaming a video of herself final September when a person burst in, poured gasoline on her and set her on fireplace. She died two weeks later.

Her ex-husband, Tang Lu, was arrested quickly after. On Thursday in court docket, he was discovered responsible of murder, sentenced to demise and ordered to pay compensation, based on state-run broadcaster CCTV.

The court docket discovered his crime “was extraordinarily merciless” and “deserves extreme punishment,” CCTV reported.

Tang had a historical past of bodily abuse towards Lhamo, reportedly beating her many occasions earlier than they divorced in June 2020, based on CCTV. Within the following months, he repeatedly sought her out however was turned away — resulting in the homicide.

The case sparked widespread dialogue on the bigger issues surrounding girls and violence in China, and the way the nation’s authorized system typically fails to guard victims.

After the demise sentence was handed out, one person on the Chinese language social media platform Weibo argued that “obscure” phrases like home violence needs to be dropped from authorized instances as a result of it “obfuscates proper from unsuitable” and undermines the severity of the crime.

“Intentional assault is intentional assault, and murder is murder, whatever the relationship between the perpetrator and the sufferer,” mentioned the person, with the remark gaining greater than 24,700 likes.

The subjects of home violence, abuse and dissatisfaction with the system had already been circulating in public discourse when Lhamo’s homicide occurred, including to the rising outrage.

Just some months earlier than her demise, China handed a controversial regulation requiring {couples} who need to divorce to first bear a month-long “cooling off” period — elevating issues it may additional endanger victims of abuse and stop them from leaving a harmful relationship.



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