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China Sends First Woman into Space

18 June 2012

China launched its most ambitious space mission yet on Saturday, carrying its first female astronaut and two male colleagues in an attempt to dock with an orbiting module and work on board for more than a week. The Shenzhou 9 capsule lifted off as scheduled at 6:37 pm local time from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert. Female astronaut Liu Yang, 33, and two male crew members—mission commander and veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng, 45, and newcomer Liu Wang, 43—are to dock the spacecraft with a prototype space lab launched last year.—AP