Shenzhou 9 (Chinese: 神舟9) is China’s manned spacecraft took off on June 16, 2012, and set to dock with the operational Tiangong 1, the nation’s first space lab module.
As part of the Shenzhou program following Shenzhou 8, the unmanned spacecraft that successfully undertook a docking mission with Tiangong 1 less than a year ago, Shenzhou 9 also performed this rendezvous after being launched into the orbit by the Long March 2F rocket.
The crew consists of three astronauts, including the country’s first female taikonaut Liu Yang. The space trip is highlighted by the participation of a female astronaut and has therefore become quite the hot topic. Nevertheless, China has no plans to conduct another space walk similar to that of Zhai Zhigang during the 2008 three-day tour of Shenzhou 7.