China's first female astronaut enters space

Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 07:30 in Astronomy & Space

Liu Yang and two male astronauts take off from Gobi desert on mission to help build space station within decadeChina's first female astronaut has launched into space as part of a mission to build a space station within the decade.A Long March rocket blasted off at 6.37pm from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi desert on Saturday, carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft and three astronauts, including female fighter pilot Liu Yang.Liu, 33, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang are to dock with a prototype space lab launched last year in a key step toward building a permanent space station. They are to work there for about a week.China first launched a man into space in a 2003 solo mission. This was followed by a two-man mission in 2005 and a three-man trip in 2008.ChinaAsia PacificSpaceGenderguardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved....

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