Long March 2F rocket
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China launches first female astronaut

China has launched its latest manned space mission - and the crew includes its first female astronaut, Liu Yang.

The Shenzhou-9 capsule rode to orbit atop a Long March rocket from the Jiuquan spaceport on the edge of the Gobi desert.

Ms Liu and her two male colleagues are heading to the Tiangong space lab.

They will spend over a week living and working on the 335km-high vessel, testing new systems and conducting a number of scientific experiments.

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