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Commemorative envelope unveiled by first Chinese astronaut to mark his historic trip

By Lin Qi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-10-23 15:00

Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut, unveils a commemorative envelope to mark his historic space trip 20 years ago. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

Dozens of people gathered outside a post office in Beijing early in the Saturday morning. Some of them traveled from neighboring cities, such as Shijiazhuang and Zhangjiakou, in Hebei province. Passionately, they waited for entry into the post office to buy a commemorative envelope of the 20th anniversary of China's first crewed spaceship, issued on that day.

Issued by China Philately, the special envelope was unveiled to the witness of Yang Liwei, the country's first space traveler sent by Shenzhou V, on Oct 15, 2003. It shows a head shot of Yang, in the spacesuit, his autograph and, a photo taken by him while in space of a view of the Earth.

Several showcases at the issue ceremony displayed stamps, commemorative envelopes and other postage collectibles which trace the progress of China's space program over the years. Guests included dozens of school children to whom Yang encouraged them to contribute to the country's space program.

"If you also want to be an astronaut one day," Yang said to them, "not only you should be strong in physique but also, you need to be knowledgeable."

In the coming days three astronauts will be transported to the Tiangong space station via the next Shenzhou XVII mission.

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