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Why does China require that its astronauts be married?

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Xinhua/Photoshot

(Read caption) Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang walks out of the orbit module of the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft for his Sept. 27, 2008, spacewalk. Earlier this year, Chinese space officials said that their astronauts must be married to qualify for the Chinese space program.

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Probably seen as America’s biggest space rival, China has recently emerged as a major space power after conducting their first space walk in 2008 (not to mention launching a lunar satellite around the Moon).

With future plans of launching a space station and sending Taikonauts (aka Chinese astronauts) to the Moon, China is going to need a lot of space pioneers–provided they are hitched to a spouse.

(Space.com) Earlier this year, Chinese space officials said that one requirement for China’s first female astronauts was that they were married, a requirement that is also upheld for China’s male astronaut candidates.

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