Becoming the third nation to propel humans into space, China sent Yang Liwei into the heavens today.

[PIC=1:center]"Shenzhou V has entered precisely the preset orbit," an official in charge of the country's manned spaceflight programme said, minutes after the blast off, which took place at 9:00AM, Beijing time.

China successfully launched its first manned spacecraft "Shenzhou V" from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and sent its first astronaut to the space with "Long March CZ-2 F" carrier rocket at 9:00 am Beijing Time October 15, and later the spacecraft entered its orbit. China has been planning this mission for about 10 years, previously launching unmanned missions to test the equipment necessary to keep a human alive aboard a vessel. The craft is expected to orbit Earth 14 times before returning after a voyage of roughly 21 hours.

"I will not disappoint the motherland," Sina.com quoted him as saying. "I will complete each movement with total concentration. And I will gain honor for the People's Liberation Army and for the Chinese nation."

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