Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Astronauts Selected for China's Crewed Moon Missions: Chief Designer

Astronauts Selected for China's Crewed Moon Missions: Chief Designer

China has selected a new batch of astronauts to prepare for its crewed lunar exploration programs, said Huang Weifen, chief designer of the manned space program's astronaut system.

The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced Tuesday, June 11, 2024, that 10 candidates, including eight space pilots and two payload specialists, have been selected as the country's fourth batch of astronauts.

Of the two payload specialists, one is from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the other is from the Macao Special Administrative Region, said the CMSA.

It added that this is first time it has selected payload specialists from the Hong Kong and Macao regions, a move that has garnered strong support and enthusiastic responses from these communities.

"The payload specialists from Hong Kong and Macao have undergone a rigorous selection process, from initial screenings to the secondary selection, with comprehensive medical examinations, physiological function tests, endurance tests for space environment adaptability, various psychological assessments, and evaluations of professional qualities. And we also conducted inspection visits and interviews for the final decision. They have met our criteria for selection," said Huang.

The CMSA announced in late May 2024 that China plans to realize manned lunar landing by 2030. Huang said the building of a astronaut team, from the selection of astronauts to the training programs, has been designed to support both the space station missions and future lunar missions.

"For the training of our existing second and third batches of astronauts, as well as the upcoming fourth batch, we have opened fundamental courses related to geology. We have also arranged for the astronauts relevant training, including field studies and geological surveys. When the development of training simulators for crewed lunar missions is completed, we will be able to unfold more substantive training tasks. Currently, we are making preliminary preparations and involving both our existing astronauts and the newly selected astronauts in engineering development work to allow them to study in the frontline of scientific research and to make the technical reserve for future missions," said Huang.

Video Credit: China Central Television (CCTV) Video News Agency

Duration: 2 minutes

Release Date: June 11, 2024

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