China Picks Mothers for Astronaut Training

China’s first female astronauts are now undergoing training, the Guardian reports:

Two women and five men have been selected as the next generation to go into space, a Hong Kong newspaper reported today, citing an unnamed military source.

Xu Xianrong, an expert at the air force general hospital, said women had advantages as astronauts over men because they were more mentally stable, better able to bear loneliness and had better communication skills.

The insistence that they should also be wives and mothers does not relate to their multi-tasking abilities. Officials are concerned that space flight might affect their fertility.

“It’s out of the consideration of being responsible for the female pilots,” Xu told the state news agency Xinhua. “Though there is little evidence on how the space experience will affect the female constitution, we have to be extra cautious. After all, it’s unprecedented in China.”

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