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China’s space program comes with lots of rules

No scars, no history of serious illness in the last three generations of your family, and no tooth cavities. These are amongst the 100 health requirements for would-be astronauts vying to be part of China's next space team.
/ Source: Reuters

No scars, no history of serious illness in the last three generations of your family, and no tooth cavities.

These are amongst the 100 health requirements for would-be astronauts vying to be part of China's next space team, the Yangtse Evening Paper reported Saturday.

The selection process, which the paper said is for the second batch of Chinese astronauts, will disqualify those who have runny noses, ringworm, drug allergies or bad breath.

"The bad smell would affect their fellow colleagues in a narrow space," said Shi Bing Bing, an official with the 454th hospital of People's Liberation Army air force based in Nanjing, one of the six astronaut health screening hospitals.

Aside from the physical requirements of the job, the candidate must also possess a pleasant and adaptable disposition, the paper said.

"These astronauts could be regarded as super human beings," Shi said.

China sent its first man to walk in space in September last year. Zhai Zhigang, the son of a snack-seller, unveiled a small Chinese flag in space, helped by colleague Liu Boming, who also briefly popped his head out of the capsule.

The space walk was a step toward China's longer-term goal of assembling a space lab and then a larger space station.