China's first female astronaut enters space
Liu Yang and two male astronauts take off from Gobi desert on mission to help build space station within 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 larger, more permanent space station by 2020. They are to work there for about a week.
Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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