Taikonaut Yang Liwei Wants to Fly Again
Chinese taikonaut and Red Army Major General Yang Liwei, the first boosted to orbital space aboard a Shenzhou spacecraft in October 2003, published an autobiography about six months ago, The Long March to Space [blog] and he now wants to fly again, according to journalist Yang Guang in China Daily.
The now deputy director of China Manned Space Engineering Office, Yang says he continues his spaceflight training in hopes of returning to space. Yang says he is still in the prime of life for a taikonaut and he dreams of another spaceflight, given the fact that one Russian cosmonaut has carried out six space missions, and an American astronaut (John Glenn) made history in 1998 by flying when he was 77 years old.
“I hope my fellow taikonauts and I can fly again in a few years,” he says. “And I hope I don’t have to wait until I’m 77 to break the record.”
The now 46-year old Chinese space hero disclosed in his book that dog was on the menu during his 2003 orbit of the Earth. The disclosure brought rebuke from animal rights advocates in the West following the May 2010 disclosure. Dog is widely eaten in northern China. It did not appear on the last Chinese flight menu, however.
Yang says, having spoken to his international counterparts, that Chinese astronauts shoulder a stronger sense of honor and mission, and are more inured to hardships, [MORE].