China launched its Shenzhou IX manned spacecraft at 6:37 pm on June 16, sending the country's first female astronaut into space.

Three astronauts, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang boarded the spacecraft.

One of the three Shenzhou IX crew members will not board the Tiangong-1 space module lab, but will remain inside the spacecraft as a precautionary measure. All of the crew members will stay 13 days in space.