Becoming an astronaut isn't a cakewalk. You have to be somewhat smart and super fit. You are going to space, y'know. But if you're a Chinese female looking to go up to the final frontier, you'd better be married and not smell, or you won't be qualified.
According to the China Military News (via Indian Express via China Defense Mashup), China has chosen two women who are deemed "flawless" to possibly fly in its next manned Shenzhou-9 mission in the summer.
So what are the strange requirements? Female astronauts have to be married, have to have given birth naturally, have no decayed teeth, no body scars and no body odor.
Wait, what? Yeah, you can't smell or have cavities because decayed teeth "might cause great trouble or a disaster in space," says Pan Zhihao, deputy editor-in-chief of the Space International magazine. Scars might also burst open and start bleeding in space which would "intensify body odor." Those girls in China got it tough! Anybody invent space-approved Old Spice yet?
As for why the women have to married and have given birth naturally (no C-section for these space gals), Xu Xianrong, a professor at the General Hospital of PLA Air Force says it's because "that would ensure their body and metal condition is mature enough."
We can't help but feel there's some info that's getting lost in translation or left out here. And as Gizmodo points out, the photo you see above (larger at the source) is clearly photoshopped.
A little digging shows that it's not just women who need to be neutral-smelling. A 2009 story from the Digital Journal shows that China requests the same from its male astronauts. Male astronauts can't have "runny noses, bad breath, body odor, cavities, scars or any history of serious illness...drug allergies...or ringworms." And according to Shi Bing Bing, a doctor at the 454th Air Force Hospital in Nanjing:
"Bad body odor will affect fellow colleagues in the narrow confines of a space shuttle. These astronauts could be regarded as super human beings."
There you have it. It's not just a crazy selection process. It's just normal Chinese protocol. So if you're living in China, and you've got any of the aforementioned "flaws" then you'd better consider a different profession because you will be rejected.