On June 16, 2012 China launched its Shenzhou-9 spacecraft at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, carrying China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang (刘洋). Liu Yang thus became the first female astronaut in the Chinese space history.
Shenzhou 9 spacecraft is a manned spacecraft flight of China’s Shenzhou program. Shenzhou 9 is the second spacecraft and first manned Shenzhou spacecraft and China spacecraft to have docked with the Tiangong 1 space station, which took place on 18 June, 2012.
Along with Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, are the two male astronauts, Jing Haipeng (景海鹏) and Liu Wang (刘旺).
The Chinese spacecraft successfully docked with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space laboratory on June 18, completing the next step in the country’s ambitious space mission.
The launch of Shenzhen-9 spacecraft and the docking ring of the manned Shenzhou-9 spaceship make China the third country to complete a manned space docking, following the United States and Russia.
According to official state news agency, Xinhua, the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft mission team will stay in the space lab to conduct “scientific experiments, technical tests, and physical exercises,”
A Shenzhou-9 operations timetable released by Xinhua shows the craft and crew are due to return to earth on June 29.