China’s First Female Astronaut Describes the Coming Breakthroughs in Space Technology
March 16, 2017 (EIRNS)—China Central Television (CCTV) runs an interview today with Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut. She is a National People’s Congress Deputy, and is attending the annual legislative conference as part of the PLA delegation. Liu flew on the Shenzhou-9 mission in 2012, which was the first manned mission to dock with the Tiangong-1 module.
The interviewer asked for her reaction to President Xi’s emphasis on innovation in the military. Liu says they are developing "cutting-edge" technology, and cites the advancements in human spaceflight over the course of the Shenzhou missions. Asked about the reforms in the military, she says that there will be 300,000 fewer troops, and she hopes that when they take off their uniforms, there will be plans to "resettle" her colleagues.
For the next mission later this year, Shenzhou-11, she said that the next module, Tiangong-2, will "truly be a space lab," with a 30-day stay for the two-man crew, and technical support breakthroughs, making a "great leap." Asked if she plans to fly again, she did not respond directly, but said that in the future, people will make "multiple journeys," and astronauts are still in training. She explains that it took thousands of hours of practice on the ground, in the operation of the spacecraft and the scientific experiments, to prepare for her mission.