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Backup colleague to become the first Korean Female astronaut

Posted on: Tháng Ba 10, 2008

It is a very interesting news that have just been released from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology yesterday saying that it has asked Ko San, who had been tapped to be Korean first astronaut, to hang up his space suit but he will be replaced by his female backup, Yi So-yeon, who will be taking his seat on the Soyuz spacecraft when it goes into orbit April 8.

The astronaut, Yi So-yeon, 29, was selected after the Russian space authorities accused the South Korean man who was initially chosen for the mission of breaking training rules.

While South Korea appeared unhappy that it had been asked to make the switch so close to the scheduled launching, women’s groups said Ms. Yi’s participation was likely to further improve the status of women in South Korea’s traditionally male-dominated society.

The main the reason that the ministry and the Korean Government replaced Mr. Ko with Ms Yi was disclosed as followed:

The main reason for the change is Ko has repeated misconduct during his training sessions,it is said a release from the ministry yesterday.

Ko, the ministry said, broke mission rules by sending a Russian training manual to Korea along with his personal belongings. The manual was returned immediately in September 2007. Then last month, he broke protocol again by borrowing a training manual for space flight.

Based on Ko’s violations, the Russian Federal Space Agency officially requested that the Korean government relieve Ko of his duties. The Russians emphasized the importance of following regulations, saying that even minor mistakes or disobedience could have fatal consequences in space, the ministry said.

This change has made a huge impact on the Korean tradition and culture especially the women while Ko is now really suffering from this decision.

“This is good news for South Korean women, especially those engaged in science and technology,” said Kim Ji-young, a university professor who leads the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations. “She can be a role model and encourage Korean women who want to enter science and technology, where women have faced bigger walls in finding jobs than men.”

Anyway, it is still a great news and we hope that Ms Yi will make a difference from this start!


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