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Liftoff! Launch Photos of China's Shenzhou 9 Docking Mission

China Launches Shenzhou 9 Mission

China Manned Space Engineering Office

A Chinese Long March 2F rocket launches on the Shenzhou 9 mission, China's first manned space docking flight and first flight of a female astronaut, on June 16, 2012 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

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 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.

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.

Liftoff for Shenzhou 9!

China Academy of Launch Technology

A Chinese Long March 2F rocket launches on the Shenzhou 9 mission, China's first manned space docking flight and first flight of a female astronaut, on June 16, 2012 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Shenhou 9 Crew Walks Out to Launch Pad

China Ministry of National Defense

The three astronauts of China's Shenzhou 9 crew, the fourth human spaceflight for the country, wave to cheering supporters as they walk out to their Shenzhou 9 spacecraft before launching on June 16, 2012, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The crew is Liu Yang, China's first female astronaut (left); Jing Haipeng, mission commander (center);and Liu Wang.

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.

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: 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.

China's Shenzhou 9 Launches Into Space

China Central Television/CCTV

A Long March 2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou 9 rocket blasts off the launch pad at China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on June, 16 2012, to begin the country's first manned space docking mission, and first flight of a female astronaut.

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