Spectacular sendoff in China

China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang, foreground, waves Saturday during a sending-off ceremony as she departs for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China. China sent its first woman and two other astronauts into space Saturday to work on a temporary space station for about a week, in a key step toward becoming only the third nation to set up a permanent base in orbit.


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