The 14 astronauts vying to ride aboard China's next human spaceflight have completed zero-gravity training for the conditions the final crew will experience in orbit, the country's Xinhua News Agency said.
Only two of the 14 astronauts will launch atop a Long March F rocket and fly spaceward inside their Shenzhou 6 spacecraft. China has announced intentions to launch the mission, its second human spaceflight and first two-person effort, sometime this fall.
The mission's candidates, which include China's first astronaut Yang Liwei, apparently spent five days undergoing rigorous zero-gravity testing. Despite the severe physical strain that a zero-gravity environment imposes on humans, none of the 14 gave up during the five days of meticulous testing, according to Xinhua.
"Not a single astronaut ever hesitated or dropped out during the extremely hard training," Yang, who became China's first man in space in late 2003, told Xinhua.
Xinhua did not state where or how the zero-gravity tests were performed, but added that China has reportedly conducted past experiments in Russia.