Liu Yang

(Last edited: Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 5:19 PM)

Short Definition
Liu Yang is a taikonaut, a term used for Chinese astronauts, and a military transport pilot. She was born on October 6, 1978, in Zhengzhou, China. Today she is known for being the first Chinese woman to venture into space, achieving this milestone on June 16, 2012, as part of the Shenzhou 9 mission.

Detailed Definition

Liu Yang is an only child who was born into a working-class family with roots in Linzhou, Anyang. Her journey towards the skies began soon after high school when she was encouraged by a teacher to pursue aviation. Joining the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force in 1997, she amassed an impressive 1,680 hours of flight experience, rising to the rank of major and deputy head of a flight unit. Notably, Liu Yang showcased her courage and skill when she successfully landed her fighter jet after a bird collision, an event that earned praise from state media.
In May 2010, Liu Yang was recruited into China's second class of prospective astronauts. Following two years of rigorous training, she demonstrated exceptional skills during testing, leading to her selection in March 2012 as a crew candidate for the Shenzhou-9 mission.

Soon after, on June 16, 2012, Liu Yang launched into space, accompanied by commander Jing Haipeng and operator Liu Wang. This milestone mission marked China's first successful crewed space docking with the Tiangong 1 space module. During the mission, Liu Yang took charge of conducting medical experiments.


Sample Sentence(s)

"[…] having Liu Yang on board will not only help the country's aspiring space program test equipment designed for women in preparation for the building of an orbiting space station, but it will also expand the social impact of human space missions." Wolchover, N. (2012, June 15). Who Is China’s First Female Astronaut?


Links to Videos/Articles:

●       Wolchover, N. (2012, June 15). Who Is China’s First Female Astronaut?

●       China’s first female astronaut ready for new space mission. (2022, June 4). CGTN.

●       Gregersen, E. (Invalid Date). Liu Yang. Encyclopedia Britannica.

●       CGTN. (2022, September 6). Liu Yang: No preferential treatment for being a woman in space [Video]. YouTube.



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