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back to article Female Chinese astronauts must have no scars, straight teeth

More than a quarter of the astronauts on China’s next manned space mission will be women, but they were selected according to a strict set of criteria which rules out any with pronounced body odour or bad teeth. China Daily reported that China’s next wo-manned mission will see the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft blasted into the skies …

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Joke

So...

The Chinese taikonauts were, obviously, sweaty, hairy, scarred guys with bad teeth?

Forget Hell's Angels, they're starting the Hell's Astronauts!

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Re: "No scars, or they may bleed in space?"

Troll 1

Ru 0

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Re: "No scars, or they may bleed in space?"

I never heard of scars bleeding in space. I think they mean the women have to be photogenic. Nice to see a non PC country, lol.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: "No scars, or they may bleed in space?"

Icons says it all...Lets hope the control panel doesn't look like that...once a month as described *shivers*

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I'm glad they're focusing on the important things. Vaginas can smell quit a bit and space isn't where you want to be stuck with a cheesy minge.

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Trollface

<= I think you missed icon selection.

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I new a lady once who come 5 pm, stunk pretty badly.

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Stop

The normal person's image of IT people...

...is that they're fat, lazy, porn-hoarding misogynists who don't wash. You're fitting it perfectly. Thus, your groin reeks- probably best to see to that before speculating on anyone else's.

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Anonymous Coward

Which icon is that?

I wasn't aware there was a fuckwit icon.

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So male scars are tough and do not bleed?

Was that published in the Journal of Dermatology, or was it Annals of Improbable Research?

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Anonymous Coward

Seems reasonable assuming they apply the same rules to the blokes too. If as group of people are going to be spending time "out on the final frontier" locked in a tin can, if they can prove they look after their health it means they care about their own wellbeing, probably others and are most likely to be mentally stable.

Think of it this way, if you were locked into a room for several weeks with a group of people, how long would it be before you got so fed up with someone's teeth grinding, their smelly breath, wiffy pits, dirty laundry that you decided to lose it and start a huge barney? You can't just say, "Sod this you smelly bastards, I'm off out for the day!".

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Joke

"Sod this you smelly bastards, I'm off out for the day!"

What do you think the space-walks are for?

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More practically, if someone has bad teeth, how do you get them to the dentist? Similarly with scars, under low pressure and with a restricted diet, it's possible they could reopen. I'm with you on the bad smells. I would hope the same rules apply to everyone and it's just getting extra reporting coverage because there are women.

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"Seems reasonable assuming they apply the same rules to the blokes too."

And he could have killed off the controversy with a statement like that. But only if it were true...

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Departmental Budget Infighting?

They could do what everyone else (UK forces included) do; have your teeth checked out before you go, and preventative maintenance undertaken to ensure they're not a problem. 15 minutes with the dentist seems a better move than binning a (presumably highly-trained and expensive to make) Taikonaut; perhaps the dental budget is empty but the Taikonaut training courses have money to burn.

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Crews train for years together, any "problems" will be identified before blast off.

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Re: Departmental Budget Infighting?

Or conceivably the only reason for manned spaceflight is PR and they don't want somebody who looks like a chinese version of stig of the dump plastered all over their posters.

Same reason that Gagarin was chosen - his family was suitably working class and US astronauts were picked from married crew-cut test pilots

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Idiots.

Personally, when the Wife comes in after working with the horses, I go with my genetic programing & enjoy the presence of "woman". Lovely stuff, that.

Accept nature & redirect ... Rule one of animal training.

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Boffin

Barodontalgia

A good reason for the 'good teeth' requirement - because exploding enamel often offends.

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Happy

Re: Barodontalgia

Holy crap, that makes me a veritable mercury-based shrapnel grenade. In Space.

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Meh

I'm guessing

That bucktoothed scarred women that smell don't make for good photo and PR, no matter how smart and capable they are.

Or am I being cynical?

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Looks

The reason they want attractive women in space is probably the secondary benefit of presenting them to the population once they've returned. Nothing says "study hard" than a hot woman being heavily marketed by the Party

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Thumb Up

Re: Looks

Study hard, boys, and someday you may get to spend a couple weeks in a smallish tin can in space with a woman like this.

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Bad Breath

I remember hearing that on space missions, bad breath isn't much of an issue because of the oxygen rich atmosphere.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Bad Breath

I thought that only the initial American spacecraft used low low pressure, high oxygen level atmosphere, and that the atmosphere that astronauts currently breathe is very akin to the one on Earth?

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Boffin

Re: Bad Breath

Mercury, Gemini & Apollo 'nauts all used to breathe O2 at about 5PSI, that's how Apollo 1 went up in flames, poor build quality an a pure O2 atmosphere.

The saturated vapour pressure of water at body temperature is about 1PSI, so the body will survive at this pressure and not experience an embolism due to the boiling of water in the body tissues. However you need about 1.7 PSI to allow gas exchange to take place in the lungs

Space suits are pressurized to 4.3 psi with a pure oxygen mix because a full-pressure suit would have to be much stronger and the pressure would make the suit difficult and vert tiring to use.

The Skuttle Shuttle and the ISS are pressurised to normal sea level of 14.7 PSI and the ‘nauts breathe ‘normal’ air

On the Apollo missions the potable water was a by-product of the fuel cells and contained relatively large amounts of dissolved H2, when this water was used to rehydrate the dried food, the body processed the hydrogen to produce lots of hydrogen sulfide gas, so bad news then, everyone is going to be smelly,

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Joke

Re: Bad Breath

Til you have a spark in a panel, and all that ripe fuel-high-oxygen content make that cabin go bust.

Gives GasPanic, Flatulence, and venting a new perspective.

I guess worries of BO could spawn ancillary industry work where the bulkhead liners are special (spacial?) absorptive padding.

The alternative is menthol nasal strips or nostril plugs. Otherwise, NostrilDominous would take over...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I imagine...

They did have nearly the same criteria for men, except for the giving birth bit..

The only problem I see is where are they going to find a Chinese woman with the right education that gave birth naturally? I've never met a Chinese woman in China who gave birth naturally (and is within the right age group of course).. they all seem to have Cesareans...

And the BO thing, good call... a man was even granted a divorce in China because on his wedding night he found she had bad BO

And as for being married, I think that is to ensure the men in space behave!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I imagine...

"...The US certainly had a "perfect health and teeth" rule..."

Teeth?... or fluorescent white plastic? which is what most yanks seem to have their gobs filled with, if the movies and television are anything to go by.

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Happy

At least...

..they didn't discriminate against blondes...

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: At least...

genius in its simplicity

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Female spacecraft pilots

Consider the now-retired Space Shuttle. There are suggestions that when it was being specced, NASA knew that American women would fly in space and so made the Shuttle female-friendly.

Did it have ... a rear view mirror? Clutch? Reverse gear?

Best of all, when the fuel tank was empty, the crew weren't required to refuel in any way, they just threw the tank away. So, no panicky calls to Houston, "help, I'm at the space station and I've filled up with diesel."

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Flight conditions

Are they sending them up without oxygen? Most of these problems only seem applicable if they're going to be exposed to a vacuum (cue bad sexist joke replies) or very low air pressure. Or is gravity really responsible for keeping your fillings from falling out?

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Re: Flight conditions

If I remember correctly, the pressure is kept intentionally somewhat lower than normal atmospheric sea level - as in they then need less air (= less weight) and the capsule doesn't need to be so strong in the opposite direction to when in the atmosphere (again, less weight).

Apparently the extended stay in low pressure can cause fillings to erupt due to pockets of much denser air in cavities in the teeth. No idea whether this ever really happened or not, but I'd also read somewhere that prospective US astronauts had any fillings they did have drilled out and refilled very carefully to reduce this risk.

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Re: Flight conditions

Anecdotal evidence suggests that deep sea divers and caisson workers either have very good teeth or no teeth (or dentures/crowns).

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Vic
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Re: Flight conditions

> the extended stay in low pressure can cause fillings to erupt

No. It is a *change* in pressure which causes problems.

If the filling/tooth is not damaged from the forces applied to it (p=F/A), the pressure in any cavity will equalise, as there will not be a perfect, gas-tight seal. Then, of course, you have do to the same thing in the other direction on return to normobaric ambient pressure...

> No idea whether this ever really happened or not

Similar has happened to divers. I'm not aware of any explosive decompression incidents in teeth, but I know people who have had very bad toothache on ascent because of such an issue. A visit to the dentist prevents recurrence :-)

Vic.

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Such window dressing is quite insulting. I wonder how many decades (or more) it will be before there are significant numbers of female politicians in China.

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Depending on what yiu mean...

... by politician, there have been women in senior posts for a very long time. The vice premier, Wu Yi, is a woman.

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Unhappy

This ain't no Battlestar, then!

How sad.

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Holmes

I'm wondering...

...if finally someone is going to do research on just how long a fart does hang around in a spacesuit.

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Mushroom

Re: I'm wondering...

Start eating alot chickpeas and go in space and FART yourself OFF to heaven.

It will cost you only a couple millions.

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must have borne children

Well, hey, that rule worked for the US Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, right?

@Nathan Hobbs: Yes, the first US astronauts did come out of the military test flight programs, so they had 20-20 eyesight minimum. As to teeth, I wonder. They grew up in the days before fluoridation of the water supply was common, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there were a number of fillings along for the ride.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: must have borne children

"They grew up in the days before fluoridation of the water supply was common"

Fluride in the water doesn't do as much for your teeth as you seem to think. Especially not in this day and age with the number of people who never drink tap water.

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Alien

It's for the aliens

Our first contact with beings from another galaxy needs to show off our best specimens.

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Alien

Re: It's for the aliens

Are you mad?

If earth gets a better reputation for slinky Taikonauts than, say Gliese131, then we're doomed.

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Scars opening up!?

I've got a large scar on my arm from when I broke it once. Does this mean my dream of one day being an astronaut is knackered then?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scars opening up!?

Only if you want a ride in a Chinese rocket with them paying.. I am sure they would waive that restriction if you wanted to pay for it

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