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Space China

Liu Yang Becomes China's First Female Astronaut 229

China launched Saturday a rocket bearing three astronauts and an experimental orbiting module intended to presage a full-fledged space station at the end of this decade. While that's big news in itself, the launch also marks the first trip for a female Chinese astronaut. The BBC has a brief video, including part of a pre-launch press conference introducing 33-year-old astronaut Liu Yang, as well as her crewmates.
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Liu Yang Becomes China's First Female Astronaut

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  • Taïkonaut (Score:5, Informative)

    by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:29PM (#40348939)
    An astronaut is american. A cosmonaut is russian. A spationaut is french. And a chineese person in the sky is a taïkonaute.
    • The term taikonaut is used by some English-language news media organizations for professional space travelers from China. []
    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      A spationaut is french.

      Giggle... Snort... ROTFLMAO.

      CESMs don't deserve to go into space.

    • So what do you call an Australian in space?
    • I'm for Sulunaut

    • I think this silliness needs to end. We don't refer to any other occupation in the language of the worker's native tongue. What is the origin of this when it comes to spacefarers? Probably the cold war, and attempting to portray Soviet cosmonauts as inferior by not even referring to them by the same word we use to describe our astronauts. Regardless, it's lame, and the more countries that send people in to space, the stupider this gets.

      • Agreed. IIRC, Clarke used the word "cosmonaut" for spacefarers of all Earthly origins in many of his later books. Of course, your typical American would never use a pinko communist term like that. Personally, I would rather be a traveler in cosmos than dive into the hot plasma of a fscking star.

        On a related note, I think it is silly to translate the names of countries and other places -- we don't usually translate the names of people either. Transliteration is fine though, and some leeway must be allowed

    • Re:Taïkonaut (Score:4, Informative)

      by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @02:18AM (#40349585) Journal

      At least according to Wikipedia, Chinese themselves use the word "astronaut" in their official English publications (and "cosmonaut" in Russian ones).

      The argument is silly, anyway. "Astron" is not English at all, and "cosmos", while Russian, is directly loaned from Greek. Why should we insist on using a Chinese word for a Chinese astronaut?

    • No, no, NO! This is stupid. We do this for exactly 0 other professions. French doctors are called Docteur only by the French, Russian ship captains are called Kapitan only by the Russians, Chinese spacefarers should bloody well be called taÃkonaute by the Chinese only.

    • by aa_trna_syn ( 583320 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @12:01AM (#40349107)
      This June 16th is also the 49th anniversary of Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova's trip to space. She was the first woman in space. She piloted the Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963, to become both the first woman and the first civilian to fly in space.
      • This June 16th is also the 49th anniversary of Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova's trip to space.

        It's also Bloomsday [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 16, 2012 @11:55PM (#40349089)

    SO special!
    Don't they realize that highlighting this as special is sexism?
    In a non-sexist mind, this is just a normal thing, and in no way special.
    And as long as we don't stop nonsense as this, sexism won't stop.

    • BINGO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Exactly... But everyone will ignore you because, gender equality man! Anything* a woman does is inherently more worthy of attention than the same thing done by a man because you don't want to be sexist do you? Do you? (*Anything except whistling at the other gender, which is forbidden for men but permitted for women. Bunch of moms whistling at the Disney boy du jour = "oh come on, the boy likes it"; bunch of dads whistling at the Disney girl du jour = "OMG perverts! Go to jail!")
      • ...Anything except whistling at the other gender, which is forbidden for men but permitted for women. Bunch of moms whistling at the Disney boy du jour = "oh come on, the boy likes it"; bunch of dads whistling at the Disney girl du jour = "OMG perverts! Go to jail!"...

        Examine your rage, dude, because this wasn't the silliest thing in newspapers this week, but it is the one you and half of Slashdot chose to freak out about. It's a pattern.

    • Is she the first female Chinese astronaut? Yes. So anything wrong mentioning that fact?

      Wonder why your driver's license lists you are a man (or woman)? Is that sexism?

  • China is working on a military base space station, but the big todo is that they launched a female soldier.
    Amazing that we focus on such BS.
    I think that SpaceX should launch a woman or two on the first launch just so that they can claim that they are willing to send women on the first launch, esp. of private space.
    • I don't know about you, but personally I'm focusing on the fact that someone is actually launching something into space - and for a space station, no less. Which is good, because if American space program folds, at least there will be Chinese to keep progress moving.

      • While the republicans are working hard to gut private space, it is near certain that it will continue. The reason is that both SpaceX and Blue Origin are going forward. My guess is that with the 'new' agreement between the neo-cons and NASA (basically, funds 2.5 private space, however, it requires that NASA not attempt to remove the republican job's bill), that we will see private space continue.
        Probably what is far more important, is that we need to get Bigelow (and hopefully, IDC Dover) going.
        • by tomhath ( 637240 )

          funds 2.5 private space

          What's private about something that requires government funding?

          • Actually, many things require gov. funding. The question becomes, is it 100% gov. funding, or is it just partial, and only for results.
            As it is, we have thrown 10B at Constellation, of which most of that went into Ares I. And what do we have to show for it? Nothing.
            So, now, we start again with the Senate Launch System. How much will this take? ANOTHER 20B, and nearly 10 years before a human flies. And that is only for 70 tonnes with actual launch costs of 1-2B.

            OTOH, 'private' space CAN put humans into s
  • So what? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I bet there will soon be an African-Canadian Jewish Bisexual Amputee as well!

    To be serious - this "The first WOMAN!!!" or "The first BLACK DUDE!!!" to do X really annoys me. Yeah, we get it, people of all genders and nationalities and heritages can do the same stuff. No big surprise - we're all human.

    Does anyone else find these articles degrading and unnecessary?

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Don't worry, I'm sure the militant feminists(and their male supporters) will be out soon to scream that your post is racist and misogynist soon.

    • Eventually they'll have done everything at least once, and then we can stop making a fuss over it.
    • Look, it's the kind of headline that makes an article. And we need these kinds of articles about "boldly go" etc, badly.

      Or would you prefer to read another sports story instead? Or some budget rant?

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @01:05AM (#40349365)

    Especially if they're wearing trashy Frank Frazetta outfits.

  • That only China and Russia (two countries that aren't exactly friendly to the US) are the only ones capable of putting humans in earth orbit at the moment? I know that I would, considering that US satellites fix themselves up there.

    I'm hoping that the next US president will feel the same way (whoever they are), and we can get a good old fashioned space race restarted. It would be nice to see US scientists and engineers working on something more important than developing an better iPhone for a change.

    • That's because, up until the Shuttle went under, anyone who was friendly with us could get a ride with us without building a manned space program on their own.

  • by Tango42 ( 662363 ) on Sunday June 17, 2012 @10:13AM (#40351237)

    China is only slightly ahead of private spaceflight, which makes it hard for me to be impressed. Give it 3 or 4 years, and private companies will be able to do more impressive stuff than China. At that point, it will just be a matter of having enough money (it's not much more than that now, really).

    That, and launching women into space isn't actually any more difficult than launching men (you have to design the spacesuits a little differently, but that's trivial). When the first women were launched into space, it was a triumph for equality, but sexism isn't really China's biggest problem (well, not after birth, any way).

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...