Liu Yang, China’s first female astronaut, waves during a departure ceremony at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province, June 16, 2012. China will send its first woman into outer space this week, prompting a surge of national pride as the rising power takes its latest step towards putting a space station in orbit within the decade. Liu, a 33-year-old fighter pilot, will join two other astronauts aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft when it lifts off from a remote Gobi Desert launch site on Saturday evening. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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