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Astronaut Team Awarded 'Heroic Astronaut Team'

China on Tuesday held a ceremony to confer on the country's astronaut team the title of "Heroic Astronaut Team" for the great job it has done during the past five years.

At the ceremony held at the Beijing-based Space City, Li Jinai, member of the Chinese Central Military Commission (CCMC) and director of the General Armament Department of the People's Liberation Army, read the decree signed by CCMC Chairman Jiang Zemin to honor the astronaut team.


The team of 14 astronauts has performed outstandingly in its training of astronauts since it was formed in January 1998 and during the country's first manned space mission last month, according to the decree.


On Oct. 15, Yang Liwei, a member of the team, entered outer space aboard the Shenzhou V spacecraft from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and landed safely as planned in North China the next day, after orbiting the Earth 14 times on the 21 hour mission.


The successful mission made China the third country after Russia and the United States able to put people into outer space.


Yang Liwei and his 13 teammates were all present at the ceremony.


(People's Daily December 3, 2003)


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