Taikonaut — Taikonaut is a term used for as-yet hypothetical astronauts launched by China.

China has, as of 2003, conducted a number of unmanned launches of its Shenzhou spacecraft. On January 2, Shanghai aerospace centre director Yuan Jie announced that they were aiming to launch their first manned mission in the second half of 2003.

The term was coined by Western media based on the term “taikong” (太空 in pinyin: tai4 kong1), Chinese for space.

Compare to the term cosmonaut for a Russian astronaut.


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