Some recent space news – the Chinese have sent their first woman into orbit. Liu Yang is one of a team of three who went up in their Shenzhou 9 launch vehicle and docked successfully on Monday with the orbiting Tiangong 1 spacelab. Does she have the right stuff? According to the Guardian, state news agency Xinhua describes her as a wife, good cook and a “proficient home maker”. Fine attributes maybe, but little clue as to her actual qualities as an astronaut. Other sources, however, mention that when flying an Air Force cargo plane, Liu Yang was able to bring it down in one piece after serious engine damage caused by collision with a flock of pigeons. Now that’s more like it.