China’s Shenzhou-13 Spaceflight Mission to Launch on October 16, Wang Yaping to Become China’s First Female Astronaut to Carry Out Extravehicular Activities

A press conference on China’s Shenzhou-13 spaceflight mission was held at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Thursday afternoon, unveiling information about the crew for this space station mission.

At the press conference, Lin Xiqiang, China Manned Space Agency Deputy Director, announced that the Shenzhou-13 manned spacecraft is set to launch at 00:23 on October 16, Beijing time. The flight crew is composed of astronauts Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu, with Zhai serving as commander.

Astronaut Wang Yaping previously carried out the Shenzhou-10 manned spaceflight mission. She was also once rated as a second-class pilot of China’s Air Force with 1567 flight hours. In May 2010, she was selected as the year’s second batch of astronauts in China. In March 2012, Wang was selected as a backup astronaut for the Shenzhou-9 spaceflight mission. In June 2013, she carried out a Shenzhou-10 spaceflight mission, and in December 2019, Wang was selected for the Shenzhou-13 mission crew. She will be the first female astronaut to carry out extravehicular activities.

Astronaut Zhai Zhigang is China’s first citizen to carry out a spacewalk, and who flew into space on the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft, while astronaut Ye Guangfu is set to make his first flight this time.

At present, the Long March 2F remote 13 rocket carrying out this launch mission is being filled with propellant.

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