Chinese astronauts are called "taikonauts." China launched its first taikonauts into space in 2003, becoming only third country to achieve this feat. Since then, the country has launched an additional nine taikonauts into space.
Among China's second group of taikonauts, announced in 2011, two of them were women: Liu Yang and Wang Yaping. Yang was launched into space in 2012 making her the first Chinese woman to leave Earth's atmosphere. China's space program has grown steadily since 2003 and there are plans for Chinese missions to the Moon and Mars. Additionally, China has its own space station in orbit around the Earth, Tiangong 1.