China's first female astronaut, Liu Yang, bottom, waves during a send-off ceremony as she departs for the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft rocket launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, China, Saturday, June 16, 2012. China sent its first woman along with two other astronauts into space Saturday to work on a temporary space station for about a week, a key step toward becoming only the third nation to set up a permanent base in orbit. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)