China has launched the Shenzhou-13 mission, with three astronauts on board, who will work on the Chinese space station for six months, in the longest space mission ever planned by the Asian country. Also aboard the spacecraft is astronaut Wang Yaping, the first woman to enter the Chinese space station and perform extra-vehicular activities, the so-called “spacewalks”, while in orbit.
Wang Yaping star of the space expedition
“The star of the expedition is her, her companion Colonel Wang Yaping, 41 years old and 1,567 hours of flight as an Army transport aircraft pilot,” writes Corriere della Sera. “She enlisted at 17. At thirty she joined the elite of taikonauts and flew the Shenzhou-10 (Divine Vessel) spacecraft in 2013”. The Beijing space agency has decided to insist on female presences, not so much for gender equality issues but because “women have proven to be very suitable for long stays in space”.