China began training cosmonauts for the future space station
China has officially started the process of selecting and preparing the third generation of cosmonauts (taikunauts) since April 23, they will have to work on the space station being created by the PRC.
This was announced on Monday by the head of the Manned Flight Program of the PRC, the first Chinese cosmonaut Yang Liwei.
"In the third cosmonaut detachment, 17-18 people should be selected for training, after completing the training they will participate in missions related to the space station," Xinhua news agency quotes Yang Liwei as saying. The selection process will be divided into several stages.
The third group of cosmonauts will include pilots, flight engineers, and load specialists. They will be selected not only from the number of air force pilots, but also from civilian employees of various research institutions related to aviation and space technologies. The new group of cosmonauts will include both men and women.
Selection of the first generation of Chinese cosmonauts began in 1995. According to its results, about 14 thousand people were selected from approximately 1.5 thousand pilots of the PLA Air Force. The second set, which was conducted in 2009, was also conducted from among military pilots. The new group included seven people.
For the preparation of these first two groups, candidates aged 25-35, with a height of 160 to 172 cm, weighing 55-70 kg, were considered, provided that no less than 600 flight hours on modern aircraft. Five of the first detachment of Chinese cosmonauts had already resigned in 2014 due to exceeding the permissible age.
The main module of its future space station China plans to withdraw by 2020. After that, a cargo ship, and later a ship with astronauts, will depart to the module where all the station systems will be concentrated. The overall installation of the entire structure should be completed by 2022 after two space laboratories weighing 20 tons each will be added to the main module.
In the process of creating the station, the technology of the cosmonauts' exit into outer space will be continued. For this purpose, a new model of a spacesuit is being developed in China at present, since in the future, when the station will start operating in orbit, the tasks of entering space will become more complicated. The astronauts will often have to go out into space and during the installation of the station at the stage of its construction.
Earlier it was reported that three astronauts will permanently be stationed at the station, but six people will live and work on it at the time of crew change. The overall design of the station is designed in such a way that two manned spacecraft and one cargo ship can be docked to it simultaneously.