South Korea first astronaut Yi So-yeon
Yi So-yeon

South Korea is replacing their country’s supposedly first man in space by a female engineer, after Russian officials rejected the initial candidate over a breach of rules.

Yi So-yeon, 29, is to replace Ko San, 31, on a Russian flight to the International Space Station on April 8, 2008.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency requested the change because Ko broke training centre rules. Korean officials played down the breaches, which involved removing reading material from the centre.

Ko, who beat more than 36,000 other applicants to the position, has been training in Russia since last year. He will now serve as the back-up astronaut for Yi instead. [BBC]


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