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 crew heading for the Tiangong — or Heavenly Palace — house station, the place she is anticipated to change into the primary Chinese language girl to conduct a spacewalk.

China’s goal to finish the station and have it totally crewed by December 2022 is an bold goal nevertheless it seems to be on 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 crew will keep for 183 days — the longest stint in house by Chinese language astronauts. She will probably 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.

It will likely be Wang’s second house mission. A serious within the Chinese language Individuals’s Liberation Military Air Pressure and a transport aircraft 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 house station module, she gave a science lecture to 60 million college students throughout China — displaying them floor rigidity of liquids in house, conducting kung fu strikes and answering questions.

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

“After I regarded out of the window for the primary time, I noticed the true which means of the facility of life… that form of magnificence was simply past comprehension,” she mentioned.

Based on Wang, a manned house program with out feminine astronauts can be incomplete.

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

And feminine crew members convey a sensible profit too, Wang added. “We ladies 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 girl in house, 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 house mission got here 49 years to the day after the Soviet Union put Valentina Tereshkova into house — making her the world’s first feminine astronaut in outer house.

Feminine astronauts have come a great distance since Tereshkova made that first journey. According to NASA, as of March this yr, 65 girls have flown in house, together with cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists and house station members.
In 1983, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride grew to become the primary American girls in house — however again then, the male-dominated house trade 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 may want for per week in orbit.

“Is 100 the correct quantity?” Journey recalled them asking, in accordance with the transcript of a 2012 NASA oral historical past mission.

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

Varsha Jain, gynecologist and researcher at Kings Faculty London, previously told CNN that whereas most methods within the human physique are closely affected throughout spaceflight, the feminine menstrual cycle would not appear to alter 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 ready to make use of oral contraceptives to time their cycles accordingly. However Jain mentioned no analysis has been achieved on long-term use of contraceptives in house, for missions that final for months and even years.

Based on Chinese language state media, among the many provides despatched to the Tiangong house station had 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.

Demise sentence for livestream homicide

A person who set his ex-wife on hearth as she livestreamed to her on-line followers was sentenced to loss of life 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 hearth. She died two weeks later.

Her ex-husband, Tang Lu, was arrested quickly after. On Thursday in courtroom, he was discovered responsible of murder, sentenced to loss of life and ordered to pay compensation, in accordance with state-run broadcaster CCTV.

The courtroom 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 instances earlier than they divorced in June 2020, in accordance with 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 usually fails to guard victims.

After the loss of life 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 mistaken” 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.

Only a few months earlier than her loss of life, China handed a controversial legislation requiring {couples} who wish to divorce to first bear a month-long “cooling off” period — elevating considerations it might additional endanger victims of abuse and stop them from leaving a harmful relationship.

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