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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  1. Kharkov


    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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    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Shakje

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

        Troll 1

        Ru 0

      2. MahFL22

        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.

    2. Skymonrie

      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*

  3. toadwarrior

    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.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      <= I think you missed icon selection.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Which icon is that?

        I wasn't aware there was a fuckwit icon.

    2. MahFL22

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

    3. Godwhacker

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

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    So male scars are tough and do not bleed?

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

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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!".

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

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

      What do you think the space-walks are for?

    2. Ken 16 Silver badge

      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.

      1. Alfred

        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.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          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

    3. Wize

      "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...

    4. MahFL22

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

  6. jake Silver badge


    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.

  7. Big Al


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

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Barodontalgia

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

  8. Crisp Silver badge

    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?

  9. Ginger


    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

    1. sisk Silver badge
      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.

  10. Scott Thomson

    Bad Breath

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

    1. E_Nigma
      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?

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      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,

    3. dssf

      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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    1. Anonymous Coward
      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!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  12. Mondo the Magnificent

    At least...

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

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: At least...

      genius in its simplicity

  13. lee harvey osmond

    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."

  14. Gerard Krupa

    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?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      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.

      1. Vic

        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 :-)


    2. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Flight conditions

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

  15. Tim #3

    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.

    1. Chimp

      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.

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    This ain't no Battlestar, then!

    How sad.

  17. Cunningly Linguistic

    I'm wondering...

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

    1. samlebon23

      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.

  18. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  19. Anonymous Coward 15

    It's for the aliens

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

    1. bonkers

      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.

  20. Si 1

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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

  21. Dazed and Confused Silver badge


    Will they also require that all their male astronauts have given birth naturally to the legally sanctioned one baby too?

  22. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    The selection criteria

    Look suitable for a porn movie. Perhaps they have a non-government source of extra funding in mind.

    I wonder is there a circumcision rule for male taikonauts?

  23. Doug Glass

    It's just a remake ...

    ... of and old TV show episode; "Pigs In Space". Might even be as comical too. and if the craft explodes, free roast Peking Dwuck for everybody.

  24. lukewarmdog

    all wrong

    The women are married with a child, that makes them milfs. It also ensures that any impropriety aboard the peoples republic of outer space transport device will not be reported for fear of shame. What happens in the peoples republic of space, stays in the peoples republic of space. Plus they will make excellent villain spies if James Bond ever joins the ISS crew.

  25. Stuart 25

    Do the men have to have given birth as well?

    Looks like we will soon see the first all female crew, unless some child baring trans-guys also qualify.

    Glad the Chinese government aren't into publicity stunts and are only using rational selection criteria for once.

    1. earl grey Silver badge

      Re: Do the men have to have given birth as well?


      That would make them paedos, then?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Babies = astronaut qualified!

    Finally, something a chav can do =D

  27. Stefing


    2 out of 7 is equality?

    1. crayon

      Re: Maffs?

      From wikipedia:

      "As of 2011, fifty-five women have flown in space, out of 525 total space travellers."

      so 2 out of 7 is more equal than the world average so far.

  28. W.O.Frobozz

    So just like the Olympics then?

    Two women...the "ugly" capable one with the actual skills will do all the work and be hidden from the cameras while the pretty, photogenic one lip syncs and takes all the credit.

  29. asdf Silver badge

    Picture misleading

    I am no expert but unlike many westerners I do understand at a very basic level the difference between the different asian cultures and histories. That said the picture for this article looks a lot more like a Japanese woman than someone from China. That also said I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating crackers.

  30. Cyberspice


    Not sure what's worse, the misogyny in China or the misogyny in this thread. At least China's a developing nation. What's the excuse for the Neanderthal behaviour here!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh!

      Testosterone? Anonymity?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    In addition to these requirements, I wonder if the Chinese require female astronauts have a nice ass?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stinks and such during the Apollo days

    There is an interesting chapter in Mary Roach's lovely book "Packing for Mars" dealing with such stuff and the stuff is priceless.

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