The Presidential Daily Brief

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    China Plans to Hire Civilian Astronauts

    The world’s most populous country, on its way to becoming a dominant space power just 15 years after launching its first astronaut, is now looking beyond air force pilots for its military-backed space program. New Chinese astronauts could include private sector engineers, pilots and scientists, and the Manned Space Engineering Office is also encouraging more women to join. The decision comes after NASA announced its most competitive class of astronauts ever last summer. Meanwhile, China’s planning to up the number of yearly manned missions to two.

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