Astronaut Liu Yang: Balance Between Family and Career Helps Me Fly High

June 30, 2017
Editor: Jane Wang
Astronaut Liu Yang: Balance Between Family and Career Helps Me Fly High

Liu Yang [Xinhua]


Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, recently gave an interview on Women Voice, the official app of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), to share her stories related to the aerospace industry.

Here is a segment of Liu's talk with a reporter of Women Voice.

Q: What do you think are the advantages of a fight crew comprised of female and male astronauts?

A: I think both female and male astronauts have their own advantages in the course of the exploration of the universe. For example, men are superior in strength and endurance whereas women are more resilient, soft and approachable. Working in a confined space requires a high level of affinity and integration within a team. Thus, feminine seriousness and delicacy are very helpful in conducting experiments in space.

Q: Will China continue to recruit female astronauts in the future?

A: Yes. China's space industry calls for more women to join the ranks of astronauts. With the establishment of our national space station, there will be more and more tasks needed to be performed by professionals from various sectors, such as engineering. I believe that a large majority of women will engage in the exploration of the aerospace industry in the future.

Q: What suggestions do you have for female university students who are aspiring to work in space?

A: They must have infinite enthusiasm for exploring the universe. Three main requirements of being a qualified astronaut include physical fitness, professional knowledge and psychological quality. Being an astronaut is definitely not as gorgeous and glamorous as everyone else imagines, and it is full of challenges and difficulties. Aerospace is a high-risk industry. Excellent psychological qualities are greatly needed in the face of unexpected situations. I hope the students who wish to become astronauts will study hard to master more knowledge of space. Although China has opened the door to recruit female astronauts, the standard of training will not be changed.

Q: How is your daily life now?

A: I am still learning like students and positively making preparations for my next mission.

Q: As a female astronaut, how do you balance your work and family?

A: I think family and career are like two wings of a bird and they are both indispensable. I don't agree with sacrificing family for career or giving up career for family. I believe that only when women's family and career are balanced can they obtain more achievements. But, it is sure that they need to devote great efforts. Family's understanding and support are quite important for me. Since the day that I became an astronaut, my husband has shouldered his responsibility of caring for our family. During two years' training, my husband used to accompany me to run and do other exercises each night. I am still emotional now when I think of running in the heavy snow at night with my lover.

At the end of the interview, Liu said that she concentrates on her work and finishes it with high efficiency. After work, she spends as much time as possible to accompany her family members.



Astronaut Liu Yang: Balance Between Family and Career Helps Me Fly High
Astronaut Liu Yang: Balance Between Family and Career Helps Me Fly High

(Source: Women Voice/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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