Wang Yaping (王亚平), a former air force pilot, joins a crew of three on Shenzhou 10 on June 11, 2013 and becomes only the second woman astronaut in space after Liu Yang who was on board the Shenzhou 9 mission in 2012.
Wang delivered a special lecture onboard the Tiangong 1 space module around 10 a.m. June 20, 2013, making her China's first teacher in space -- more than 300 km above the Earth's surface. More than 60 million students and teachers across China's 80,000 middle schools turned into the special class. Wang interacted with more than 330 students who gathered in a classroom of the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing, according to the space program.
Wang was born in January 1980, in east China's Shandong Province. She is the eldest of two daughters. In 1997, she enrolled at the Changchun Air Force Aviation College. Wang Yaping first took to the air in 1998 and subsequently racked up more than 800 flying hours during the next nine years.
In 2001, holding a bachelor's degree in military science, Wang was assigned as a military air transport pilot in Wuhan. Since then, she has carried out many important tasks including military exercises, disaster relief operations following the Wenchuan Earthquake and rain cloud dispersal operations during the Beijing Olympics.
As one of the seventh batch of Chinese female pilots, Wang is trained to pilot four types of aircraft. Her husband is also a pilot.
The Shenzhou 10 was launched by the rocket Long March 2F at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, located in Inner Mongolia, on June 11, 2013, and will return 15 days later.