China

Female astronaut brings changes to space mission

English.news.cn   2012-06-17 18:04:22

JIUQUAN, June 17 (Xinhua) -- As a member of the crew for China's latest space docking mission, Liu Yang became the country's first female astronaut entering space when Shenzhou-9 blasted into space atop a Long March-2F rocket on Saturday evening.

Her presence in the ship, however, required a set of adjustments to China's space program to meet the needs of a woman.

NEW SPACESUITS FOR LADIES

"We developed a new series of spacesuits for female astronauts", said Li Tanqiu, deputy chief designer of the astronaut system department.

Li said the new suit fits well and will enable swift movements, especially of the fingers.

Besides spacesuits, astronauts also brought special underwear and sports suits, according to Li.

In addition, two sets of physical exercise training suits had already been placed in Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace-1, the space lab module launched last September with which Shenzhou-9 is supposed to dock in the next few days.

There is also a curtain installed in Tiangong-1 to protect astronauts' privacy when they are changing clothes, said Li.

MORE VEG

"Astronauts rely on good food to focus on work," said Chen Shanguang, general director of the astronaut system department.

For female astronauts, Chen's fellow crew had introduced low-fat food and added more vegetables to the menu, which also features desserts, chocolate and food with blood-enriching effects.

For this 13-day mission, the spaceship is stocked with over 50 kinds of food and different menus will rotate every four days, added Chen.

Chen also believes the food for China's space program should take full advantage of the country's traditional cooking.

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Editor: An
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