Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meanwhile, in China. Female Astronauts Must Not Smell!

I thought this was a joke at first:
China has selected two female astronauts among seven candidates for its next manned space mission that will launch between June and August.
Three Chinese astronauts, also known as taikonauts, will be chosen from the candidates to fly aboard the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft that will manually dock with Tiangong-1, an orbiting module of the country's planned space station, and conduct scientific experiments, said Li Wei, deputy designer for spacecraft systems with the China Aerospace and Technology Corporation.
The two female astronauts, whose identity will be released before the launch, were selected from 15 women who must be married and have given birth naturally, Space International magazine under the China Academy of Space Technology said yesterday. They also must have no scars nor body odor.
It's naturally possible that the same selection rules apply to male astronauts, about body odors and such. But the whole piece reeks to me of that women-as-the-Others treatment:
Xu Xianrong, a professor with the General Hospital of the PLA Air Force, said the female astronauts must be married and have given birth naturally because that ensures their body and mental condition are mature enough.
Link thanks to Moonbootica