News / Science & Technology

China Puts First Female Astronaut in Space

China's astronauts from left Liu Yang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang salute before they depart for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China, Saturday, June 16, 2012.China's astronauts from left Liu Yang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang salute before they depart for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
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China's astronauts from left Liu Yang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang salute before they depart for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
China's astronauts from left Liu Yang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang salute before they depart for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China, Saturday, June 16, 2012.
Stephanie Ho
BEIJING - China successfully launched its first woman astronaut into orbit on a mission that marks an important step in the country's plans to build a permanent space station.

The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft blasted into space Saturday under clear skies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in western Gansu province.

The spacecraft carries a crew of three astronauts, including China's first female in space, Liu Yang. The Shenzhou 9 is set to dock with another spacecraft, Tiangong 1, which is in orbit more than 300 kilometers above Earth.

One of the Chinese government's highest-ranking female officials, State Councilor Liu Yandong, read a letter of congratulations from Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is on a visit to Denmark. Speaking through an interpreter, she said Hu sees the docking mission as a “big milestone” for China.

“I'd like all of you to continue your spirit of hard work and achieve complete success in our first manned space docking mission, and to create new achievements for our manned space program,” said Liu.

China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo, presided over a mission send-off ceremony, and was shown on television monitoring events from the control room.

During the launch video monitors showed live images of the three-person crew, which appeared to be calm while reading handbooks.

Astronaut Liu Wang will be mainly in charge of a manual docking of the Shenzhou-9 with the Tiangong-1, a task that will be performed in coming days. Speaking Friday, he said this will be very difficult.

He said the manual rendezvous requires a lot of technology and skills, so he has rehearsed the maneuver more than 1,500 times.

Mission commander Jing Haipeng said he is still excited even though this is his third time in space.

He added that with China's growing space industry, he expects that in the future, there will be many more astronauts who will make multiple missions.

The crew is expected to spend 13 days in space, conducting scientific, medical and technological experiments.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: riano baggy from: indonesia
June 19, 2012 5:41 AM
now the dragon go to sky before to make big waves in the oceans,
i hope the dragon not play make typhoon in the sky..
In Response

by: gao from: China
June 21, 2012 12:33 PM
How do you do ! Oh , don't worry too much , China's development will bring more opportunities and benefits to other countries' development .Our chairman Hu has announced my country's policys to others many times. China , under the leadership of the Communist party , was quite different from the fascist. To build a cooperative and peaceful and rich world . That's all the people 's dream and goal in the world extremely the Chinese. Right? His performance has proved this so far. For instance, China's help to the Africa and in many other countries.

by: Cả Thộn from: Hà Nội
June 18, 2012 5:18 PM
Good for them. Too busy in space, Chinese have no time to bother fishermen down South China Sea and Philipinos.
In Response

by: zhangjie from: china
June 19, 2012 10:47 PM
No,we have not forgotten

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
June 17, 2012 12:29 AM
Congratulations, China! I am so proud not only because The first Chinese women goes to the out space but also because China did it when US and Europe try to keep China out of space technologies and didn't allow China to participate the international space station program. Now we are going to have our own space station. Excellent! we are not just second biggest economy and also a technological advanced country!
In Response

by: Ada from: China
June 19, 2012 11:40 AM
I really appreciate what you said

by: Ai Jun from: Chengdu,China
June 16, 2012 11:40 PM
Correction-3rd paragraph from the bottom, Jing Haipeng -"this is his third time in space". Correct information: this is the 2nd time in space for him. Source-http://edu.people.com.cn/GB/1053/18207461.html

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