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China to send its first woman to space

Saturday, June 16, 2012

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Photo: EPA

China will send its first woman and two other astronauts into space today to work on a temporary space station for about a week, in a key step toward becoming only the third nation to set up a permanent base in orbit, the AP reprots.

Liu Yang, a 34-year-old air force pilot, and two male colleagues will be launched aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft, which will dock with the bus-sized Tiangong 1 space module now orbiting at 343 kilometers above the Earth.

The mission will last more than 10 days before the astronauts return to Earth.