The Chinese Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has announced that China will receive between 12 and 14 new reserve astronauts for future spaceflight missions. Among the reserve astronauts, the CMSA also said, seven to eight of China's fourth group of astronauts will be spacecraft pilots, and five to six will be payload specialists, including space flight engineers and two payload specialists.
Spacecraft pilots will be recruited from in-service pilots of the armed forces, according to the CMSA. The institution said that space flight engineers will be selected from people who do scientific research and engineering studies in aerospace engineering and related fields, while payload experts will come from researchers focusing on space science and applications.
As the recruiting promoter, CMSA will for the first time select payload specialists from Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions. CMSA says recruitment of new astronauts is expected to be completed within 1.5 years