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Shenzhou 9: China's 1st Manned Space Docking Mission (Pictures)

Shenzhou 9 Crew in Orbit

China Central Television/CCTV

The three astronauts on China's Shenzhou 9 space capsule wave to cameras wearing broad smiles after reaching orbit on June 16, 2012, in this still from a CCTV broadcast.

Liftoff! Shenzhou 9 Launches Into Space

China Central Television/CCTV

China's Shenzhou 9 spacecrafts soars toward space atop a Long March 2F rocket on June 16, 2012, in this still from a state-run CCTV broadcast. The mission is China's first manned space docking flight and first flight of a female astronaut.

Shenzhou 9: China's 1st Female Astronaut

China Ministry of National Defense

China's first female astronaut Liu Wang waves to supporters while clad in a spacesuit just before boarding the Shenzhou 9 space capsule for a successful June 19, 2012 launch from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Shenzhou 9 Launch: Booster Sep

China Central Television/CCTV

This spectacular view shows the rocket boosters separating as planned from China's Long March 2F rocket during the successful launch of Shenzhou 9 on June 16, 2012.

Shenzhou 9 Crew Salutes Before Launch

China Ministry of National Defense

The crew of China's fourth human spaceflight Shenzhou 9 salutes officials after walking out to the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on June 16, 2012. The crew includes China's first woman astronaut liu Yang (left), veteran Jing Haipeng, and first-time flyer Liu Wang.

Shenzhou 9 Salutes as Flags Wave

China Ministry of National Defense

The crew of China's fourth human spaceflight Shenzhou 9 salutes officials after walking out to the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on June 16, 2012. The crew includes China's first woman astronaut liu Yang (left), veteran Jing Haipeng, and first-time flyer Liu Wang.

China's Shenzhou 9 Crew with Mission Patches

Xinhua

China's Shenzhou 9 crew, from right, Jing Haipeng, Liu Yang and Liu Wang, wearing their mission's emblem during training.

Shenzhou 9 Mission Sends China's First Female Astronaut Into Orbit (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

China's three-person crew will test techniques for docking and inhabit the Tiangong space laboratory.

China's 1st Woman Astronaut: Liu Yang

China Ministry of National Defense

China's first female astronaut Liu Yang, an Air Force major, salutes to reporters during a press conference on the eve of her June 16, 2012 launch with two crewmates on the Shenzhou 9 mission to the Tiangong 1 space lab.

Shenzhou 9 Spaceship at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

China Ministry of Defense

A Chinese Long March 2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rolls out to the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on June 9, 2012. The Shenzhou 9 mission will launch three astronauts on China's first manned space docking flight.

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