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.
x
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.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs