China to recruit civilian astronauts, boost crewed missions-media-1

FILE – In this Oct. 31, 2003, file photo, school children wave Chinese and Hong Kong flags as they welcome China’s first astronaut Yang Liwei, center, to Hong Kong’s Government House for an official reception hosted by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, shortly after arriving for a five-day visit to the territory. China says it plans to begin recruiting civilian astronauts for its military-backed space program and increase the number of crewed missions to around two a year. Yang told reporters Saturday, March 3, 2018, new astronauts will include maintenance engineers and payload specialists as well as pilots. (AP Photo/Anat Givon, File)