The Long March II-F rocket loaded with Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft carrying Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang lifts off from the launch pad in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
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China sends first female astronaut into space

16 June 2012 Last updated at 17:49 BST

China has sent its first female astronaut into space.

A rocket lifted off from the edge of the Gobi Desert, taking Liu Yang and two male colleagues to the Tiangong space module.

They will test docking technology and spend more than a week working in orbit.

Damian Grammaticas reports.