Author Topic: The China Taikonauts Thread  (Read 41577 times)


Online Chris Bergin

Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #1 on: 12/07/2011 04:22 PM »
And here's Robert's article on this...

Names of China's secret spacemen – and women – 'uncovered' by collectible
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-120711a.html

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #2 on: 12/14/2011 09:07 PM »
I did a radio interview today about my role the unmasking of the second taikonaut group.

One of the questions I was asked was:-

"Why do the Chinese keep the names of their taikonauts secret (until they have been assigned to a flight) when so many other aspects of their space programme are being conducted in a fairly open way?"

I did give an answer which represented a personal view, but it is a wholly legitimate question, and I'd be interested to read a cross section of views from the regulars on here.

I'll post my own answer in a day or two.

TIA

Offline parg1

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #3 on: 12/17/2011 08:49 PM »
I did a radio interview today about my role the unmasking of the second taikonaut group.

One of the questions I was asked was:-

"Why do the Chinese keep the names of their taikonauts secret (until they have been assigned to a flight) when so many other aspects of their space programme are being conducted in a fairly open way?"

I did give an answer which represented a personal view, but it is a wholly legitimate question, and I'd be interested to read a cross section of views from the regulars on here.

I'll post my own answer in a day or two.

TIA

Congratulations Tony on obtaining details of the Second Taikonaut group.

Considering the secrecy that the Soviet Space programme operated under; the Chinese are remarkably open. While we may not yet have individual photographs of all of the taikonauts selected in 1998; we know their names, and they are not hidden from sight until receiving a flight asignment. Some can be seen in the background of the farwell ceremony for Shenzhou 7 crew in their distinctive blue tracksuits, and a group photograph exists of  all 14 members at the time of the selection of Yang Liwei for Shenzhou 5. We even have some details of the 19 Candidates selected in 1971 for their first manned space effort. As well as some detals of female candidates for the Second Group.

I believe that the Chinese are not deliberately hidding the information about their taikonauts....they are just not publicising it expressly, the cover you discovered has been in circulation for some months; but until your detective work it's significance was not recognised. One is reminded of the days of the "Soviet Sleuths" when information on Cosmonaut selection was found by dedicated followers of the Soviet Manned Space Programme, who would then publish in magazines like Spaceflight In the case of the Chinese the information is there but it needs to be discovered and then as Tony has done..be made public.

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #4 on: 12/18/2011 09:50 AM »
Of course, Rex Hall was the greatest of the cosmonaut team sleuths, and he and Neil da Costa were the first westerners to meet the Chinese trainees at Zvezdny Gorodok and getting the pictures to prove it.

Those pictures ended up being bootlegged by Mark Wade for his web site, of course.

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #5 on: 01/02/2012 11:28 AM »
...and I'd be interested to read a cross section of views from the regulars on here.

I'll post my own answer in a day or two.

I believe that the Chinese are not deliberately hidding the information about their taikonauts....

IMO I think all the secrecy is because the tight control of information that the Chinese government imposed on the population (internet, newspapers) ...
When a cosmonaut is assigned, all the secrecy turns to great fanfare of the regime.

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #6 on: 01/02/2012 11:31 AM »
Let’s post some images on this thread.  This is the best (biggest) shot of the first group (1998). 
I found it here:  http://www.spacefacts.de/groups/english/china1.htm

Please help if you can.  From left to right:

1.- Unknown 2.- Unknown 3.- Unknown 4.- Jie Wu? 5.- Qinglong Li? 6.- Haisheng Nie 7.- Liwei Yang 8.- Zhigang Zhai 9.- Junlong Fei 10.- Unknown 11.- Unknown 12.- Unknown 13.- Unknown 14.- Buoming Liu?

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #7 on: 01/02/2012 10:42 PM »
I am aware that the very same photo has been shown to Yang Liwei and Fei Junlong at an event outside China which they were attending, by a well-known researcher/author on all matters space, who would, I think, prefer to remain anonymous, for the pupose of this story.

After being a little surprised that anyone outside China had a copy of this image, they then proceeded to identify themselves and each of the flown or otherwise known guys(i.e. those officially named as back-ups on SZ-6 or 7).

That left 4 or 5 unaccounted for, but when asked to match the remaining faces to a printed list of the remaining names, they claimed that the image was not clear enough. This was plainly nonsense, they'd all been in the same training group for 10+ years at the time and must have know each other well.

I think this does illustrate that, for whatever reason, there Chinese are really sensitive about these people being formally identified, before they are assigned, and that Yang and Fei were well briefed on what was, and wasn't, information in the 'public domain'.

 

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #8 on: 01/02/2012 10:51 PM »
As the request was to post more photos, here are some more images of the two female candidates which have been culled from Chinese websites, but which haven't been published before in connection with their selection for the space programme.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2012 10:53 PM by tonyq »

Offline parg1

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #9 on: 01/03/2012 10:19 PM »
Further to the Group Photograph, I believe that T-11 is Buoming not T-14. I do not think that T-5 is Qinglong as the photo I have found below shows the candidate to the right of Haisheng in more detail
 
Photographs also exist of the unflown taikonauts in the background of the welcoming ceremony for the Shenzhou 7 crew and can be accessed at
http://www.astronaut.ru/as_china/text/sel04.htm.


Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #10 on: 01/03/2012 10:39 PM »
I am aware that the very same photo has been shown to Yang Liwei and Fei Junlong
.
.
That left 4 or 5 unaccounted for, but when asked to match the remaining faces to a printed list of the remaining names, they claimed that the image was not clear enough. This was plainly nonsense, they'd all been in the same training group for 10+ years at the time and must have know each other well.

Watching the group photo it seems that the photographer is more interested on the "State Commission"  :(

Thank you for the new photos Tony.


Photographs also exist of the unflown taikonauts in the background of the welcoming ceremony for the Shenzhou 7 crew and can be accessed at
http://www.astronaut.ru/as_china/text/sel04.htm.

This is a very interesting link.  And this one http://www.astronaut.ru/as_china/text/face.htm have interesting captures of background taikonauts at the bottom of the page.

Edit:
Link was wrong
« Last Edit: 01/03/2012 10:41 PM by TALsite »

Offline Liss

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #11 on: 02/18/2012 07:14 PM »
Let’s post some images on this thread.  This is the best (biggest) shot of the first group (1998). 
I found it here:  http://www.spacefacts.de/groups/english/china1.htm

Please help if you can.  From left to right:

1.- Unknown 2.- Unknown 3.- Unknown 4.- Jie Wu? 5.- Qinglong Li? 6.- Haisheng Nie 7.- Liwei Yang 8.- Zhigang Zhai 9.- Junlong Fei 10.- Unknown 11.- Unknown 12.- Unknown 13.- Unknown 14.- Buoming Liu?


The best understanding of today is:

1. Li Qinglong; 2. Liu Wang; 3. Chen Quan; 4.- Wu Jie; 5. Unknown; 6. Nie Haisheng; 7. Yang Liwei; 8. Zhai Zhigang; 9. Fei Junlong; 10. Unknown; 11. Liu Boming; 12. Unknown; 13. Unknown; 14.- Jing Haipeng

Four names for unknowns are: Deng Qingming, Pan Zhanchun, Zhang Xiaoguang and Zhao Chuandong.
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #12 on: 05/09/2012 07:27 PM »
A senior Chinese official has confirmed the inclusion of a female taikonaut in the crew of Shenzhou 9.

Speaking at a ceremony, held on 5th May, to mark the departure of the Long March booster to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, Chinese Academy of Launch Technology, Commander in Chief, Liu Yu commented that the rocket would be used to carry China's first woman into space, together with two other astronauts.

The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft itself has been at Jiuquan since 9th April.

The Chinese media, and officials, are still referring to launch within a 'June to August' window, but with the hardware all at Jiuquan imminently, it is clear they are working towards a launch at the earlier part of that timeframe.

There has been no official indication of the identity of the Shenzhou 9 prime and back-up crews. However, some Chinese language forums have reported that PLAAF pilot, Major Liu Yang, 33, has been already selected for the Shenzhou 9 prime crew, and will become China's first woman in space, but it is impossible to judge whether these reports have any veracity. Chinese officials have previously said that the crew would not be selected until the final days before launch.

Offline BUAA

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #13 on: 05/14/2012 07:23 PM »
I did a radio interview today about my role the unmasking of the second taikonaut group.

One of the questions I was asked was:-

"Why do the Chinese keep the names of their taikonauts secret (until they have been assigned to a flight) when so many other aspects of their space programme are being conducted in a fairly open way?"

I did give an answer which represented a personal view, but it is a wholly legitimate question, and I'd be interested to read a cross section of views from the regulars on here.

I'll post my own answer in a day or two.

TIA

I believe the reason for not disclosing the identities of the astronauts was to protect them from the fame and external interruptions. The celebrity status of the astronauts (even for those who haven't flown yet) can well become a burden. For example, they may get apporached by the press for exclusive interviews. Their fame could be used by the local governments of their hometowns for their own publicity. Some people may even try to use the astronauts' special status to connect with senior leadership, etc.

All of these are very unique in the Chinese culutre of 'Guanxi' (connections), and can be very disruptive to their training. In fact, the names of the two female astronaut trainees were first disclosed by the newspapers of their hometown, not state media. I'm sure this wasn't in the original plan.
« Last Edit: 05/14/2012 07:25 PM by BUAA »

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #14 on: 05/16/2012 02:36 PM »
I believe the reason for not disclosing the identities of the astronauts was to protect them from the fame and external interruptions. The celebrity status of the astronauts (even for those who haven't flown yet) can well become a burden. For example, they may get apporached by the press for exclusive interviews. Their fame could be used by the local governments of their hometowns for their own publicity. Some people may even try to use the astronauts' special status to connect with senior leadership, etc.

All of these are very unique in the Chinese culutre of 'Guanxi' (connections), and can be very disruptive to their training. In fact, the names of the two female astronaut trainees were first disclosed by the newspapers of their hometown, not state media. I'm sure this wasn't in the original plan.

I'd agree with all that you say there. In addition, the fact that the programme has a very heavy military influence and that all the taikonauts, including the women, are military officers, must shape their whole approach to media exposure and relations.

 

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #15 on: 06/03/2013 11:18 AM »
This quotes were from the SZ-9 thread.  I post it here because I think it's most accurate, and add some clues to the SZ-10 crew composition.
I'm not saying the Chinese are following exactly the same traditions than the
russians but...

Here are the two crews.
From left, Wang Yaping, ??, NieHaisheng, Liu Yang, ??, Jing Haipen

Russians (and foreigners flying on a Soyuz) only plant trees if they are prime crew and they haven't been launched from Baikonur previously

Two more photos of one of the crews planting trees at JSLC:


Watching the picture planting trees, the man on the right is Jing Haipen, and
watching the haircut of the woman (is short on her ear side) I think isn't the identified as Wang Yaping on the “two crews together” picture.

Hope the Chinese authorities will announce crews soon... :)

So, watching who flew the SZ-9 mission we can assume, Chinese follow the same traditions as Russians.

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #16 on: 06/03/2013 11:20 AM »
This is a curious image, which I initially thought showed the SZ-9 back-up crew arriving at the launch centre on 9th June.

However on closer review, it is Nie Haisheng, Liu Wang and Wang Yaping, i.e. two back-ups and one prime crew member.

Does this raise a question over whether the final crews were not actually settled at this stage?

Do we know if the Chinese fly their prime and back-up crews on different aircraft, like the Russians?

It may be that they all flew together and simply piled off the plane in a random sequence, but then we do have a 'crew' here Commander, Docking pilot and woman, so it doesn't look like an arbitrary disembarkation.

Thoughts anyone? :-\

I re-posted this image from (great analist) tonyq because he didn't get any answer.
Assuming the Chinese follow the Russian traditions, and that it's not logical to fly mixed crews, I think that this was the Backup crew, but in the pre-launch training, officials swapped the docking-operator: Liu Wang instead of Zhang Xiaoguan.

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #17 on: 06/03/2013 04:25 PM »
Thanks for the kind words TAL.

Actually I did get an answer to this mystery eventually, from the Chinese language book on the SZ-9 mission.

It contains this photo of the crew being presented to officials before leaving the astronaut training facility in Beijing on 9th June 2012.

This shows that the prime crew when they left Beijing was Jing/Liu/Liu.

Witnesses have confirmed that they departed/arrived on two planes, in groups of three. Why they were shuffled for that journey is a mystery, but it does seem that there was no last minute crew change.

Offline Liss

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #18 on: 06/04/2013 09:38 AM »

The best understanding of today is:

1. Li Qinglong; 2. Liu Wang; 3. Chen Quan; 4. Wu Jie; 5. Unknown; 6. Nie Haisheng; 7. Yang Liwei; 8. Zhai Zhigang; 9. Fei Junlong; 10. Unknown; 11. Liu Boming; 12. Unknown; 13. Unknown; 14. Jing Haipeng

Four names for unknowns are: Deng Qingming, Pan Zhanchun, Zhang Xiaoguang and Zhao Chuandong.



The best understanding of today is:

1. Li Qinglong; 2. Liu Wang; 3. Chen Quan; 4. Wu Jie; 5. Pan Zhanchun; 6. Nie Haisheng; 7. Yang Liwei; 8. Zhai Zhigang; 9. Fei Junlong; 10. Zhao Chuandong; 11. Liu Boming; 12. Zhang Xiaoguang; 13. Deng Qingming; 14. Jing Haipeng

« Last Edit: 06/04/2013 09:38 AM by Liss »
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #19 on: 06/10/2013 03:45 PM »
So, now that we know the SZ-10 crew, for certain, and their are strong rumours, but not officially confirmed about the back-up crew (Liu/Pan/Deng?) we can examine what this means for the team overall.

It seems that there is a stong chance that Li Qinglong, ChenQuan, Wu Jie are, for whatever reason, no longer eligible for flight assignments. Yang Liwei, Fei Junlong and Zhai Zhigang are probably 'grounded' either by their current jobs or by their iconic status (or both). Jing Haipeng may also fall into this group; would he fly a third time?

We know nothing about Zhao Chuandong, but it has been reported elsewhere that he too is retired.

So, we are down to a likely maximum of six of the original group, plus the five 2010 men and the two girls. Liu Yang is probably grounded too.

If they plan just two manned flights to TG-2, they will need at least nine crew members, including three veterans, so it seems that they will barely have enough, and if one or more of the veterans is eliminated between now and then, or they actually plan three flights, they will be in trouble.

It is possible that Wang Yaping is being groomed as a future 'veteran', perhaps as insurance. According to one media report today she has been trained to pilot the manual docking, and there is video of her doing just that, in the SZ simulator.

Presumably, therefore, we will see a new recruitment process begin, fairly soon, perhaps even being announced during SZ-10's mission.


   

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #20 on: 06/10/2013 07:28 PM »
Wang Yaping, being the youngest of the group (I think!), will probably be eligible for a Commanding position on a next flight to TG-2.

Offline hal9000

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #21 on: 06/11/2013 11:14 AM »
Have we had any conformation on the backup crew for SZ-10 yet?

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #22 on: 06/11/2013 04:04 PM »
Wang Yaping, being the youngest of the group (I think!), will probably be eligible for a Commanding position on a next flight to TG-2.

Further references in today's coverage to Wang Yaping being trained to carry out the manual docking. There was never any mention of Liu Yang doing this, last year, so it may well be an additional skill that Wang has been trained in, during the extra year preparation she has had. That raised the question, Why?

In we fast forward 4 or 5 years, the 1998 guys will all be retired, or close to it and Wang and Liu could well be the senior members of the team, albeit still in their mid/late thirties, so putting all this together, Rui could be on to something here! 

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #23 on: 06/11/2013 04:07 PM »
Have we had any conformation on the backup crew for SZ-10 yet?

No, I don't think we have, but the same names were circulating for a week or two before the mission, so I feel that there is a very high probability that they are correct (Liu/Pan/Deng)

I doubt we will get an official announcement now, so the best chance is for a stray photo to turn up somewhere on the web.

Offline npuentes

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #24 on: 06/13/2013 05:16 PM »
I find it interesting that Nie Haisheng has served as prime (SZ-6, 10) or backup (SZ-5, 7, 9) on every Shenzhou mission. He's virtually the Chinese equivalent of John Young!

Offline ashotb

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #25 on: 06/15/2013 12:16 PM »
I find it interesting that Nie Haisheng has served as prime (SZ-6, 10) or backup (SZ-5, 7, 9) on every Shenzhou mission. He's virtually the Chinese equivalent of John Young!

In fact, he does not have an equivalent at all - he is the one and only, as NOBODY else has ever been enrolled in prime or backup crews of ALL manned spaceflights to this point. 

Offline Paolo

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #26 on: 06/18/2013 10:13 AM »
Does anyone know the date of birth of Zhang Xiaoguang ?

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #27 on: 06/18/2013 10:20 AM »
Does anyone know the date of birth of Zhang Xiaoguang ?

The only info available is that he was born on May 1966.

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #28 on: 09/02/2014 08:14 PM »
Bumped!
Do you see any rookie taikonaut on your summer holidays?  8)

Just to say that the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) will take place in Beijing on September 10th to 15th.
http://www.space-explorers.org

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #29 on: 09/13/2014 08:13 PM »
From Xinhua, China plans to train engineers to be astronauts.

"The country will finish the third round of astronaut selection in the next two years..."

"However, in the third round of selection, there will not be new female astronauts since two have been on active service..."
« Last Edit: 09/13/2014 08:14 PM by Satori »

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #30 on: 10/19/2014 09:14 AM »
I am bumping this thread, as Rui (Satori) and I have recently been gathering information on the current status of the 21 taikonauts of Groups 1 and 2, to try and establish who will/won't be eligible to fly on SZ-11 in 2016, and beyond.

We've also been looking past 2016, examining the age profile of the current groups and considering the need to generate more 'veterans' to command the intial manned missions to the CSS from 2018 onwards.

Our initial thoughts suggest that there may only be 11 taikonauts eligible for assignment to SZ-11 prime/back-up/support crews.

We will share our wider thoughts/conclusions/ideas in the next couple of weeks, but, in the meantime, if anyone has any information or speculation they would like to contribute to our information gathering, please feel free to share now. Thanks.

 
« Last Edit: 10/19/2014 10:25 AM by tonyq »

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #31 on: 10/19/2014 11:20 PM »

We will share our wider thoughts/conclusions/ideas in the next couple of weeks, but, in the meantime, if anyone has any information or speculation they would like to contribute to our information gathering, please feel free to share now. Thanks.
 

Ok, hope this may help  :)
This is a .pdf from my database with the active Chinese cosmonauts.
List is sorted by:
1-Time from their last spaceflight
2-Selection group
3-Their actual age (if it's known their DOB)

Edited:
ALL chinese cosmonauts
« Last Edit: 10/19/2014 11:39 PM by TALsite »

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #32 on: 08/29/2015 05:59 PM »
A bump on this thread for no special reason. We cannot only remember them when a Shenzhou mission is about to be.

Any recente news about the Taikonauts?

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #33 on: 08/29/2015 06:39 PM »
When I met Tony Quine we discussed the Shenzhou 10 back-up crew which has been rumoured but in reality we have no idea who this might have been.

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #34 on: 08/30/2015 05:26 PM »
When I met Tony Quine we discussed the Shenzhou 10 back-up crew which has been rumoured but in reality we have no idea who this might have been.

I recall that conversation Phil, and at the time of SZ-10 our best guestimate for the back-up crew was Liu Boming/Pan Zhanchun/Deng Qingming and these names did appear briefly on some Chinese language websites, before disappearing. The logic was that Liu was a veteran who could serve as commander and Pan and Deng were rookies from 1998, and possibly the only two still eligible for selection, as some of the others seem likely to have retired, or been disqualified.

Turning to Rui's post, yes, it has been very quiet on the topic for a while, but hopefully it will change in the months ahead. In September 2014, Yang Liwei said that selection of the third group of Chinese astronauts would be completed 'within two years'. As the 2010 selection took about 9/10 months from start to finish, they should start that process before the end of 2015? That said, there is no guarantee that they will tell the outside world when they begin!

Equally, TG-2 and SZ-11 campaigns should take place in 2016, so we may get some hints about the crew over the next six months or so. Most likely option seems to suggest either Liu Wang or Zhang Xiaoguang to command, with two of the 2010 male group. They need to generate more flown men, who are young enough to command SZ missions in the 2017-2020 time frame.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2015 03:27 PM by tonyq »

Offline TALsite

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #35 on: 08/31/2015 05:40 PM »
I lived the secretism of the Soviet Manned Space Program before the glasnot, and I will never understand why Chinese Space Authorities are doing the same in the 21st Century...  >:(

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #36 on: 10/10/2015 12:52 PM »
According to SinoDefence twitter, Shenzhou 7 flight engineer Liu Boming has been promoted to Major General.

Offline ZachS09

Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #37 on: 10/13/2015 01:21 AM »
Since the backup crew of Shenzhou 9 flew on Shenzhou 10, I'm guessing that Boming, Zhanchun, and Qingming will fly on Shenzhou 11. So, here's my theory of the Shenzhou 11 crew:

Commander: Liu Boming (2)
Operator 1: Pan Zhanchun (1)
Operator 2: Deng Qingming (1)

Boming would sit in the center seat with Qingming on his left-hand side and Zhanchun on his right-hand side.

"IF I'M WRONG ABOUT THIS ASSUMPTION, PLEASE LET ME KNOW"
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #38 on: 10/13/2015 06:06 AM »
So we know with any certainty who the back-up crew were for Shenzhou 10?   I thought that they are unknown despite online rumours "naming" them.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #39 on: 10/13/2015 09:44 AM »
Since the backup crew of Shenzhou 9 flew on Shenzhou 10, I'm guessing that Boming, Zhanchun, and Qingming will fly on Shenzhou 11. So, here's my theory of the Shenzhou 11 crew:

Commander: Liu Boming (2)
Operator 1: Pan Zhanchun (1)
Operator 2: Deng Qingming (1)

Boming would sit in the center seat with Qingming on his left-hand side and Zhanchun on his right-hand side.

"IF I'M WRONG ABOUT THIS ASSUMPTION, PLEASE LET ME KNOW"

Phil is right, that we don't know for sure who the back-up SZ-10 crew were, although there were many suggestions at the time that it was this trio.

However, I think you are wrong about your assumption that this will be the SZ-11 crew.

Firstly, there is a lot of evidence that shows that after each manned campaign the back-up crews are dissolved and new selection process start for the next mission or series of missions (in the case of SZ-9 and SZ-10). I you dispute this theory, take a look at the back-up for SZ-5, SZ-6 and SZ-7. A back-up role does not guarantee and seat on the next flight. SZ-9 and SZ-10 were a little different as they were closely linked missions, and they wanted to fly both girls.

SZ-11 marks the start of a new campaign, and I would expect them to start crew selection with a blank canvass.

Then there is the issue of experience. It appears that 50 is the retirement age for taikonauts, and SZ-11 appears to be the only manned flight to TG-2 before they begin manned flights to the CSS in c2018. Their own requirements are that an veteran must command each flight. The original 1998 cohort are getting past or close to retirement, and all will be too old by 2020, so they will run out of veterans fairly soon, and need to generate new experienced flyers, from the 2010 group, who will lead the CSS flights when they start.

Whilst  Liu Boming is a possible commander for SZ-11, I suspect that Liu Wang or Zhang Xiaoguan are more likely, having flown the previous docking missions, with two rookies for the 2010 cohort going up, to be blooded, as possible future commanders regular flight to the CSS begin.

Discuss!! :-)

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #40 on: 10/13/2015 10:33 AM »
Tony, this might sound crazy but might the Chinese consider a female commander for a flight to the station scheduled to begin in 2018?

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #41 on: 10/13/2015 01:05 PM »
Tony, this might sound crazy but might the Chinese consider a female commander for a flight to the station scheduled to begin in 2018?

Phil, as we all know, it is difficult to try to guess what the Chinese might do, but it does seem to me that by 2018 or so, they will have very few 'veterans' who are under the age of 50, but that number will include the two women.

I suspect that Liu Yang will be regarded as a 'national treasure' and therefore not likely to be assigned again, but Wang Yaping is a different case, and I would have thought that she will be eligible for consideration as a future Shenzhou commander. Probably not for SZ-11, but maybe once the CSS is launched and being visited regularly - maybe twice a year from 2018 onwards. 

At the time of SZ-10, it emerged that Wang had trained to dock SZ-10, and although she didn't do this in orbit, it did imply that she might already have been on a different training and development regime to Liu Yang.

« Last Edit: 10/13/2015 01:08 PM by tonyq »

Offline ZachS09

Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #42 on: 10/16/2015 06:22 PM »
Thanks, tonyq.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #43 on: 02/22/2016 01:22 PM »
With the indications in other threads about a possible SZ-12 visit to TG-2, in addition to the long planned SZ-11, it is perhaps time to bump this thread and stimulate a bit of crewing discussion and speculation.

For SZ-9/10 campaign, the Chinese selected a pool of nine taikonauts and formed them into three crews. There were three veterans who were the commanders and they have since said that it is a requirement that each crew includes an experienced crew member.

They have also said in the past, and Yang Liwei himself has said this, that no one can fly aged over 50 years. This is aligned to PLAAF pilot age limits.

If these parameters still apply, and there is no reason to think that they don't, then they will shape the crewing options, to a very significant degree.

Most of the 1998 selection are now over 50 with only Liu Wang and Zhang Xiaoguan having flown, and still being under 50, by the end of 2016. So it seems a reasonable bet that they will be two of the commanders.

The third commander spot is trickier. Liu Boming who was back-up for SZ-10 is 50 later this year. Will he still be available for assignment, or is he out of the picture? If he is not available, it leaves only the two women, and of these Liu Yang seems unlikely to fly again, as she is a 'national treasure' and had a child in 2014. This leaves only Wang Yaping.

Assuming that they are all fit and qualified, the five rookie men from 2010 should logically form the bulk of the cohort, which leaves us one short of the nine. Ideally they need to fly several of these guys over the TG-2 campaign to generate a reasonable flow of younger future commanders for the CSS era.

If either of the rookie back-up crew from SZ-10 (Deng Qingmin and Pan Zhanchun) are still under 50, then they could be part of the six rookies and give us the nine required.

Discuss!

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #44 on: 02/22/2016 01:39 PM »
I wasn't aware that the Shenzhou 10 back-ups had been confirmed by the Chinese.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #45 on: 02/22/2016 02:34 PM »
I wasn't aware that the Shenzhou 10 back-ups had been confirmed by the Chinese.

Yes, Phil, you are right, although I think there were enough sources who gave these names at the time, and they were entirely logical, for us to be fairly happy that they were the right trio. It is not clear why the Chinese didn't name them when all the previous back-up crews were totally visible.   

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #46 on: 02/28/2016 08:23 PM »
The announcement of the launch schedule for Tiangong-2, Shenzhou-11 and Tianzhou-1 by Xinhua says SZ-11 will take just TWO taikonauts to TG-2. So, a longer stay in orbit for the crew compared with SZ-9 & 10 missions?

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #47 on: 02/29/2016 12:44 AM »
The announcement of the launch schedule for Tiangong-2, Shenzhou-11 and Tianzhou-1 by Xinhua says SZ-11 will take just TWO taikonauts to TG-2. So, a longer stay in orbit for the crew compared with SZ-9 & 10 missions?

It certainly looks like it. The article says the taikonauts will be performing a "medium-term stay".

"During the process, China will verify key technologies including cargo transportation, on-orbit propellant resupply, astronauts' medium-term stay, as well as conduct space science and application experiments on a relatively large scale, the spokesperson said."
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #48 on: 03/01/2016 01:08 PM »
From Go Taikonauts!

http://www.go-taikonauts.com/en/chinese-space-news/1263-next-manned-chinese-space-mission-is-planned-to-last-one-month

Quote
Next manned Chinese space mission is planned to last one month

The plan is to have them stay inside the new lab for 30 days, doubling the previous Chinese record for the longest manned space mission. Nie Haisheng, chief of China's astronaut brigade, says staying in space for a longer period of time comes with a number of challenges.

And from
http://english.cri.cn/12394/2016/03/01/3746s918563.htm

Nie Haiseng has also said

Quote
...in the future, our astronauts are going to have to complete a lot of tasks during the space walks, as they will have to deal with issues such as equipment transfers, installation, repairs, maintenance and disassembling different components. We also have plans to carry out some scientific experiments outside the space capsule.

IMO I think EVA plans will come with the SZ-12 flight (and 3 crewmen?).
And with EVA plans, maybe Liu Boming would be a good CDR because he has also experience on EVA from his previous SZ-7 flight.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #49 on: 05/15/2016 07:50 AM »
https://twitter.com/ESA_CAVES/status/541648706484064256

Here a photo with Ye Guangfu and Chen Dong.
Maybe someone at ESA has some more.

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #50 on: 05/15/2016 10:57 PM »
https://twitter.com/ESA_CAVES/status/541648706484064256

Here a photo with Ye Guangfu and Chen Dong.
Maybe someone at ESA has some more.


Based on their policy of the last 18 odd years, of keeping unflown taikonauts out of photographs, someone has slipped up here. As you ask, has anyone at ESA got anymore, particularly the remaining three 2010 men?

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #51 on: 06/26/2016 07:29 AM »
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Caves/Underground_astronauts_preparing_for_space


Chinese taikonaut Ye Guangfu is to take part in the ESA CAVES project. His back-up for this assignment is Chen Dong. This is the first time that these two men, from the 2010 selection, have been officially named/identified.

It also suggests that we can safely remove them from being involved in the SZ-11 crew. Will one of the remaining three 2010 group fly on that mission?

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #53 on: 08/31/2016 08:47 PM »
Quote
ChinaSpaceflight ‏@cnspaceflight
王亚平

Wang Yaping

1.09 at 8 CCTV1?
« Last Edit: 08/31/2016 09:13 PM by SMS »
---
SMS ;-).

Offline ZachS09

Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #54 on: 08/31/2016 09:08 PM »
Is that taikonaut Wang Yaping?
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #55 on: 09/02/2016 09:07 PM »
Is that taikonaut Wang Yaping?

Yes, it certainly is. This photo is connected to recent TV show she was involved in.

I have not seen the badge above her name tag before. Could this be the 'wings' awarded to Chinese astronauts who have flown in space?

At the risk of being called sexist, I'm going to say what everyone is thinking, that she's a stunning looking girl  ;)

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #56 on: 09/02/2016 10:27 PM »
Question:
Have any of the taikonauts made appearances or presentations in the United States?

(I know there is currently federal law restricting NASA from "bilateral activity" with PRC institutions.  NASA is not the whole of the United States of America.)

Thank you!
« Last Edit: 09/02/2016 10:28 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #57 on: 09/03/2016 08:23 AM »
Do we have to use the term 'taikonaut'? The Chinese space agency doesn't, they use 'astronaut' in their English-language communications.
With the proliferation of spaceflight, it'll be untenable to use country-specific titles for every country's spaceflight personnel, so we might as well start calling them all astronauts now.

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #58 on: 09/03/2016 08:27 AM »
Do we have to use the term 'taikonaut'? The Chinese space agency doesn't, they use 'astronaut' in their English-language communications.
With the proliferation of spaceflight, it'll be untenable to use country-specific titles for every country's spaceflight personnel, so we might as well start calling them all astronauts now.

Since the first man in space was a COSMONAUT then surely that should be the universal term for a space flier if you wish to impose such a term.

Offline Hobbes-22

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #59 on: 09/03/2016 08:58 AM »
I think we're stuck with astronaut/cosmonaut as those are too entrenched by now. For other countries we can do better.

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #60 on: 09/03/2016 09:03 PM »
"Since the first man in space was a COSMONAUT then surely that should be the universal term for a space flier if you wish to impose such a term."

The first images of the far side of the Moon were taken by Luna 3 in October 1959, before anybody had flown in space.  Soviet scientists compiled the first maps of the far side from the new images and gave names to some features.  One was Mare Moscoviense, the 'Sea of Moscow'.  And on its south side they named an indentation Zaliv Astronavtov, the 'Bay of Astronauts'.  (Source: Atlas of the Reverse Side of the Moon, USSR  Academy of Sciences, 1960).

So the Russians themselves were using the term Astronaut before Gagarin.  Not that I think it alone should be used, but there's no justification for imposing a 'universal term' based on a dubious notion of first usage.
 

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #61 on: 09/03/2016 09:35 PM »
Up to October 1960, official term was indeed 'astronaut', changed to 'cosmonaut' before April 1961 to be different from the American one.
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #62 on: 09/04/2016 06:10 AM »
IIRC the therm "astronaut" was even invented by a Russian author, Ary Sternfeld
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ary_Abramovich_Sternfeld

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #63 on: 09/04/2016 07:14 AM »
I like using Taikonauts. There's even a website that promotes the name.

http://www.go-taikonauts.com/en/
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #64 on: 09/04/2016 07:34 AM »
I like using Taikonauts. There's even a website that promotes the name.
http://www.go-taikonauts.com/en/

True, but "taikonaut" is still an unofficial made-up name.   The word hangtianyuan has been used by the Chinese specifically for Chinese cosmonauts.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #65 on: 10/16/2016 03:35 PM »
Follow-up on the Shenzhou-11 press conferences:
Jing Haipeng is back as commander.
The left seat will be filled by Chen Dong.
(Image file originally provided by ace5, assumedly screen captured from the 1st press conference.)
« Last Edit: 10/16/2016 03:38 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline hal9000

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #66 on: 10/17/2016 09:17 AM »
Any word who the Backup crew are?

I think we have known that on the previous missions.

BTW:  Jing Haipeng has been on 50% of the manned missions undertaken by China!    That's a record that is unlikely to be matched (maybe apart from the next country to start a manned space program....)




Offline ZachS09

Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #67 on: 10/18/2016 05:01 PM »
Any word who the Backup crew are?

I think we have known that on the previous missions.

BTW:  Jing Haipeng has been on 50% of the manned missions undertaken by China!    That's a record that is unlikely to be matched (maybe apart from the next country to start a manned space program....)

No backup crew was given, but I would hypothesize Zhang Xiaoguang as backup Commander and Cai Xuzhe as backup Flight Engineer.
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Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #68 on: 10/21/2016 03:01 PM »
No backup crew was given, but I would hypothesize Zhang Xiaoguang as backup Commander and Cai Xuzhe as backup Flight Engineer.

In many ways, it doesn't really matter who the back-up crew were, other than as a point of curiousity! We now have ample evidence that there is no pattern to Chinese crew selections, other than that they start with a blank canvas for each mission, and select a crew, from those available. The requirement to have a veteran on each flight, seems to be holding, but being a back-up for a 'one-off' mission like this, doesn't mean much. The prime and back-ups, still go back in the mix, for the next round of assignments!

SZ-10 was an exception, as everything was planned in parallel with SZ-9, and it was always anticipated that both crews would fly.     

BTW, I suspect that your crew is conjecture, rather than a hypothesis.  ;)

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #70 on: 12/07/2016 06:34 PM »
---
SMS ;-).

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #71 on: 12/08/2016 07:12 AM »
Thank you for the video link SMS, but please bear in mind that the majority of people on here cannot understand Chinese.   It would help if you explained who the lady is in the video - I am sure that we all recognised her from live TV coverage of flights, being in the control cenre - and what her role is at the control centre, etc please.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #72 on: 12/08/2016 07:30 AM »
According to https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32123.msg1599726#msg1599726 the lady  is Ms. Huang Weifen, Dep. Chief Designer, Astronaut System for Manned Space Engineering.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #73 on: 02/27/2017 06:41 PM »
---
SMS ;-).

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #74 on: 03/01/2017 07:33 AM »
Seems like some kind of "hand pressing into clay" ceremony. Anybody want to put names to the pictures?
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #75 on: 08/07/2017 03:07 PM »
https://twitter.com/cnspaceflight/status/894063896075489280
Quote
8月6日,宇航员费俊龙,翟志刚,刘洋参加海上生存训练。
This tweet suggest, tha Fei Junlong is still an active taikonaut.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #76 on: 08/21/2017 03:46 PM »
https://twitter.com/cnspaceflight/status/894063896075489280
Quote
8月6日,宇航员费俊龙,翟志刚,刘洋参加海上生存训练。
This tweet suggest, tha Fei Junlong is still an active taikonaut.
Yang Liwei took also part in this training.
https://twitter.com/AJ_FI/status/899598459510165504

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #77 on: 08/22/2017 08:03 PM »
http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/08/Sea_survival_training_China3

Are there any unknown chinese taikonauts from group 2 at this group photo?
---
SMS ;-).

Offline ZachS09

Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #78 on: 08/22/2017 10:57 PM »
I can identify the following:

BOTTOM ROW (left to right)

Chen Dong

Wang Yaping

Liu Wang

Liu Boming

Samantha Cristoforetti

Yang Liwei

[Unknown] (from China)

Matthias Maurer

[Unknown] (from ESA)

[Unknown] (from ESA)

Ye Guangfu

Zhang Xiaoguang

The other 11 taikonauts in the top row are unrecognizable to me. Who knows? Maybe they might consist of the third selection of taikonauts.
« Last Edit: 08/22/2017 11:00 PM by ZachS09 »
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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #79 on: 08/23/2017 07:32 AM »
There 16 taikonauts took part.
I assume that this were the eight flown taikonauts from the 1998 group and the seven taikonauts from the 2010 group plus one unknown taikonaut(maybe one of the unflown taikonauts from the 1998 group).
Maybe someone can identify him.

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #80 on: 08/23/2017 08:00 AM »
I can identify the following: ...

Between Yang Liwei and Matthias Maurer is astronaut trainer Huang Weifen.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #81 on: 08/25/2017 04:25 AM »
Article on the ESA astronauts training in China.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Astronauts/ESA_and_Chinese_astronauts_train_together

24 August 2017

ESA astronauts Samantha Cristoforetti and Matthias Maurer joined 16 Chinese astronauts earlier this month for nine days of sea survival training off China’s coastal city of Yantai. The ultimate goal is for ESA to establish a long term cooperation with China and ESA astronauts to fly on China’s space station.
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Online GELORD

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #82 on: 08/25/2017 06:12 PM »
Huang Weifen, deputy research chief of the Astronaut Center of China, previously said that recruitment and training of China's third generation of astronauts will start this year.
The field of candidates will expand from Chinese Air Force pilots to include space industry engineers. All 21 of China's first and second generation astronauts were Air Force pilots.
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Offline Michael Cassutt

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #83 on: 08/26/2017 12:00 AM »
I can identify the following:

BOTTOM ROW (left to right)

Chen Dong

Wang Yaping

Liu Wang

Liu Boming

Samantha Cristoforetti

Yang Liwei

[Unknown] (from China)

Matthias Maurer

[Unknown] (from ESA)

[Unknown] (from ESA)

Ye Guangfu

Zhang Xiaoguang

The other 11 taikonauts in the top row are unrecognizable to me. Who knows? Maybe they might consist of the third selection of taikonauts.

As noted upthread, the 3rd group has not yet been selected. There's no reason to assume that they second row has "11 taikonauts" or three or even any: those folks could all be training or support personnel.

And to Olaf, whose posts I enjoy, I don't think it's useful to conclude that the veterans taking part in this training are automatically active. They could have become training supervisors.

And further... some of these reports claim that there were "16 astronauts" taking part in these exercises, but it sure looks like nine total to me -- 7 China, 2 ESA.

Michael Cassutt

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #84 on: 08/26/2017 07:17 AM »
And further... some of these reports claim that there were "16 astronauts" taking part in these exercises, but it sure looks like nine total to me -- 7 China, 2 ESA.
They are talking about six groups with three participants, 16 Chinese and two Europeans.
The first group was shown here https://twitter.com/AJ_FI/status/894279066433585153.
The second and third group was not shown, or I have not seen them.
And the last three groups could be the nine astronauts shown on the picture above.
But this is only my suggestion.

Offline tonyq

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #85 on: 09/01/2017 09:56 AM »

As noted upthread, the 3rd group has not yet been selected. There's no reason to assume that they second row has "11 taikonauts" or three or even any: those folks could all be training or support personnel.

And to Olaf, whose posts I enjoy, I don't think it's useful to conclude that the veterans taking part in this training are automatically active. They could have become training supervisors.

And further... some of these reports claim that there were "16 astronauts" taking part in these exercises, but it sure looks like nine total to me -- 7 China, 2 ESA.

Michael Cassutt

I'd agree with Michael's comments. All the commentary, so far, from China, suggests that the third group has not yet been selected, so it would be wrong to conclude that any of the unidentified people are taikonauts.

Furthermore, the missing three men from the 2010 selection do not appear anywhere in the photos of the actual exercises, which implies that the Chinese have deliberately kept them out of sight and not involved them. Same with the unflown guys from 1998.

This was largely a PR stunt, and an exercise in practical collaboration, a rather than mission related training, and it seems the Chinese wheeled out all their 'big guns' to take part, but I doubt many of these participants are realistic contenders to fly to the CSS.

Finally, the 'missing' taikonaut in the sixteen may well have been an instructor. The  Russians have done this for decades for both winter and water survival training exercises.   
« Last Edit: 09/01/2017 09:57 AM by tonyq »

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Re: The China Taikonauts Thread
« Reply #86 on: 09/12/2017 12:52 PM »
Here is an interview with Matthias Maurer
http://gbtimes.com/19572
A short summary from him about this training
Quote
We had in total nine astronauts in training during the two weeks that we were there. My colleague and I, Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut, were the two Europeans. And then we had seven Taikonauts, or Chinese astronauts. And in total we formed three teams of three each. For example, Yang Liwei was among team one with Wang Yaping, the second Chinese female astronaut and Zhang Xiaoguang. Team two was Liu Boming, Ye Guangfu and myself. And team three was Liu Wang, Chen Dong and Samantha Cristoforetti.
... Three other teams of astronauts also did this training before we were there, so in total there were 18 astronauts trained.

Tags: Taikonauts