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China to recruit ‘civilian astronauts’

China is set to increase its number of manned space missions to two per year, and will broaden its recruitment process in order to assemble the right crews, Deputy Director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office Yang Liwei has confirmed. China is looking to both research institutions and the private sector to add to the 25 astronauts that have been recruited since the late 90s. Despite being excluded from the International Space Station on account of ‘military connections,’ China has made considerable progress in its space program, having both performed a spacewalk and landed a rover on the moon.