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Sunday, June 17, 2012
China Puts First Woman into Orbit Aboard Shenzhou 9 Spaceship
The Shenzhou 9 capsule was launched Saturday on China's most ambitious space mission yet in a step toward building a permanent space station.
The spacecraft carried out the first of five planned orbit changes early Sunday, state television said. The capsule is to dock Monday with the Tiangong 1 module 343 kilometers (213 miles) above Earth.
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The spacecraft carrying China's first female astronaut and two male crew mates made a planned course change Sunday en route to docking with an orbiting module, state television reported.
Liu Yang, a 33-year-old air force pilot who is China's first female space traveler; mission commander and veteran astronaut Jing Haipeng, 45; and crew mate Liu Wang, 43, are to spend at least 10 days in space.