On Saturday, China launched its most ambitious space mission that marks an important step in the country’s plans to build a permanent space station. For the first time in China’s history, the country has sent a female astronaut along with two male astronauts into space in a mission to dock with the country’s orbiting space laboratory.
On Saturday, Shenzhou-9 spacecraft blasted off at 6:37 pm (1037 GMT) from its Gobi desert launch site towards space under clear skies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in western Gansu province. For the first time, China has sent the country’s first 33 year old female astronaut Liu Yang who is actually a fighter pilot into space with two male colleagues Jing Haipeng and Liu Wang.
The Shenzhou 9 is set to dock with another spacecraft, Tiangong 1, which is in orbit more than 300 kilometers above Earth. The commander of this mission is Jing Haipeng. Astronaut Liu Wang will be mainly in charge of a manual docking of the Shenzhou-9 with the Tiangong-1. Two of the astronauts will live and work inside the module to test its life-support systems while the third will remain in the capsule to deal with any unexpected emergencies. The crew will spend 13 days in space, conducting scientific, medical and technological experiments.
The national television of China has broadcasted the live video of Shenzhou 9’s blast off. The video is embedded below.
Source : China Post