Liu Yang will create history as she was chosen to be the first female astronaut to be sent into space by China. She was selected as a crew member of the Shenzhou-9 mission along with two other male astronauts.
Liu Yang came into the limelight when a flock of 18 pigeons hit her Air Force cargo plane which resulted in the failure of her plane engine. But Yang kept her mind calm and landed the plane safely on the ground.
After two years of rigorous training she managed to qualify as the candidate for the space program along with another female, Wang Yaping who was selected as the back-up member for the Shenzhou-9 mission.
The 33 year old Liu Yang comes from Linzhou, Henan province of China. Yang joined the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in 1997, where she became a veteran pilot with about 1,680 hours of flying experience. Yang currently serves as the Air Force Major.
In a press conference on Friday Li Yang said, “I am very grateful to my motherland and the people. It’s really a honor for me to fly into space on behalf of a millions of female Chinese citizens.” Furthermore, she said “When I was an Air Force pilot, I flew in the sky. And now that I am an astronaut, I will fly in space. This is much more for me like dreams come true.”
The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft will be launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gobi desert on Saturday. With this launch China becomes the third nation to launch a female astronaut along with the United States and Russia.