After an exciting career at NASA, two astropandanauts who are now living in China, Tai Shan of Washington D.C. and Mei Lan of Atlanta, GA, have been selected as commanders for China's newest space mission aboard the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft.
The spacecraft sits atop the "Long March V" heavy lifter rocket that will boost the astropandanauts into orbit where they will be establishing protocol for future missions as the first stage in China's endeavor to create their own space station.
This first mission is set to take off later this year, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Mongolia with future launches taking place at China's newest launch center, Wenchang Space Center on Hainan island in S. China, that is still under construction.
Good luck to Mei Lan and Tai Shan. May your space travels continue to spread good for all mankind.
Thanks to TaiShan, Sooperpanna! at flickr for the photo of all the astropandanauts that flew on the NASA space shuttle.