China hopes to put a space station into orbit in the next 10 years. But before it tackles that milestone, the People's Republic is set to make history by sending its first woman into space, reports Reuters.
Liu Yang, a 33-year-old fighter pilot, will be the first Chinese woman in space when she embarks on a mission to the Tiangong 1 module on Saturday. She will be accompanied by two other astronauts aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft when it departs from the Gobi Desert launch site.
Yang told a local news station that she "yearns to experience the wondrous, weightless environment of space, see the Earth and gaze upon the motherland."