China’s humans-to-the-Moon program eyes by 2030 time period.
Image credit: CMS/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

China has announced selection of new astronaut candidates to ready the country for its future human treks to the Moon.

The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced Tuesday that 10 candidates, including eight space pilots and two payload specialists, have been selected as the country’s fourth batch of astronauts.

Geology field work

Huang Weifen, chief designer of the manned space program’s astronaut system, told China Central Television (CCTV): “When the development of training simulators for manned lunar missions is completed, we will be able to unfold more substantive training tasks.”

Huang added that preliminary preparations are underway involving both existing astronauts and the newly-selected astronauts to engage in engineering development work and scientific research for future missions.

Image credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

In preparation for Moon exploration expeditions, China’s astronauts are taking fundamental courses related to geology, including participation in field studies and geological surveys, Huang noted.

The CMSA announced in late May that China plans to realize a crewed lunar landing by 2030.

Pilots, flight engineers, payload specialists

The ten candidates include eight pilots and two payload specialists from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the other is from the Macao Special Administrative Region, the CMSA explained.

China’s astronaut training activities for space station and Moon exploration duties.

This selection of the fourth batch of Chinese astronaut candidates began in the second half of 2022.

Back in 1998, China picked 14 astronauts from air force pilots and an additional seven in 2010. Selection of the third batch of 18 astronauts in 2020 included space pilots, flight engineers and payload specialists.

Huang said the building of an astronaut team, from the selection of astronauts to the training programs, has been organized to support both China’s space station missions and future human excursions to the Moon.

For an informative video on the selection of new astronauts and China’s human reach for the Moon, go to:

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