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

Shenzhou 9 Astronauts Meet the Press

China Ministry of National Defense

The crew of China's Shenzhou 9 mission meets reporters for a press conference before launch on June 15, 2012 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. From left to right are: Liu Yang (China's first female astronaut), Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang.

China's Shenzhou-9 Mission Crew

China Manned Space Engineering

China's astronauts Jing Haipeng (L), Liu Wang (R) and Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut, make up the crew of the Shenzhou-9 manned docking mission.

Shenzhou 9 Crew Close-Up

China Ministry of National Defense

The crew of China's Shenzhou-9 mission, set to launch in June 2012, waves. L to R, Liu Yang (China's first female astronaut), Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang.

China's Shenzhou 9 Mission Reporters

China Ministry of National Defense

Reporters pack a press conference room to meet the three astronauts of China's Shenzhou 9 space docking mission on June 15, 2012, one day before launch.

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.

Shenzhou-9 Crew Waves

China Manned Space Engineering

The crew of China's Shenzhou-9 mission, set to launch in June 2012, waves. L to R, Liu Yang (China's first female astronaut), Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang.

Shenzhou 9's Veteran: Jing Haipeng

China Ministry of National Defense

China's Shenzhou 9 mission commander Jing Haipeng is the only veteran astronaut on the three-person crew. Here, he salutes to reporters on June 15, 2012, one day before launch.

China Shenzhou 9 Spacecraft, Rocket Rollout

China Manned Space Engineering Office

A Long March 2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 rocket rolls out to the launch pad at China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center ahead of a planned June 2012 launch of the country's first manned space docking mission.

Jing Haipeng, Commander of Shenzhou-9 Mission

China Manned Space Engineering

Jing Haipeng is the commander of the Shenzhou-9 mission.

Docking Opens a New Era for the Chinese Space Program (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

The docking of two robotic spacecraft, the Tiangong 1 space station and Shenzhou 8 capsule, provided a preview of larger Chinese space complexes planned for the future.

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