China To Recruit Civilian Astronauts To Serve Its Space Station Project

| March 4 , 2018 , 10:31 IST

China will now recruit civilians into the third group of taikonauts to serve its planned Chinese space station project as per Yang Liwei, military pilot and China’s National Space Administration astronaut.

The new taikonauts (Chinese astronauts) will be selected from various industrial sectors, research institutions and universities, Yang said on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) as per reports by the Xinhua News Agency.

China selected its first group of 14 taikonauts in the late 1990s and the second group of seven in 2010. Of them, 11 have been sent to space in six spaceflights.

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The new taikonauts will include not only pilots but also skilled engineers and payload specialists for the space station project.

China-based Xinhua news agency reports that the core module and a new carrier rocket for the space station project are also being developed by China.

To build and operate its space station, China requires more taikonauts, Yang said.

Currently, Chinese Space Programs have all former air force pilots appointed as taikonauts.