Becoming an astronaut and exploring the universe seems like a dream that most likely won't come true due to the rigorous requirements of the job. However, the new criteria for astronaut selection in China could close the gap between ordinary people and space.
Yang Liwei, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office and China's first astronaut to go into space, announced this June at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) 2017 that China will select a third batch of astronauts for its manned space exploration plan this year.
Although previous astronauts in China's space program - including Yang Liwei - were all selected from the Chinese Air Force, the new selection process will give a priority to engineering, with preferences given to flight engineers and load experts with Masters degrees or above, China Youth Daily reported.
This means people without a military background or flight experience could also get a chance to go to the space.
Here are some basic requirements you need to fit if you want to be an astronaut in China.
First of all, an astronaut must have a height between 1.6 meters and 1.72 meters (5.2 feet and 5.64 feet) and weigh between 55 kilograms and 70 kilograms (121 pounds and 154 pounds) in order to fit in the cabin of spacecraft and consume less fuel.
To cope with various unpredictable situations in the space, an astronaut should have a perfect physical condition. A series of tests on cardiac function, central nervous system function and visual performances are required.
In addition, candidates also need to go through exams in balancing and bearing capacities in low pressure and gravity, according to the Ministry of National Defense of China.
The first batch of astronauts in China consists of 14 male soldiers, including Yang Liwei, with the average age of 42. The number dropped to 35 in the second batch of seven astronauts, who were all pilots from the air force, and two of them were female, according to the China Space Report.
The standard for being an astronaut for the third batch is much lower than before in terms of both identity and physical condition, indicating that more ordinary people could have the opportunity to explore the universe in the future.