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Family Members Bid Happy Birthday to Nie Haisheng
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Nie Haisheng, one of the two Chinese astronauts aboard the Shenzhou VI spacecraft currently on its space flight mission, spent his 41st birthday on Thursday in space.

"Happy birthday to Haisheng in space," said Nie Daoqin, Haisheng's sister, at home in Zaoyang, a city of central China's Hubei Province.

Nie Daoqin cooked Haisheng's favorite meal for the celebration of her brother's birthday, expressing the hope for Haisheng to come back safely. Officials from local government and local people also gathered at Nie's home to deliver their good wishes for the hero astronaut.

A local food processing company made a birthday cake with a decorative pattern of the Shenzhou VI for Nie Haisheng. "All of us are proud of Haisheng and wish a happy birthday for him," said Song Aijie, a staff from the company.

Nie Haisheng's friends also brought a special gift, a model of the Shenzhou VI spacecraft made of radish, for Nie's birthday party. "We hope that this gift may transfer our regards and good wishes for Haisheng," said Nie's friend Liu Weizhong,

When astronauts on the Shenzhou VI spacecraft talked with their family members in the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center on Wednesday night, Nie Jielin, wife of Nie Haisheng, said the 41st birthday of Nie Haisheng would come in a few hours. "Good luck to Haisheng! Good luck to Shenzhou VI!”

At these words, Nie Haisheng was in tears.

Nie Tianxiang, daughter of Nie Haisheng, sang a song for her father's birthday.

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..." the song rang in every Chinese's ears, hoping Nie will enjoy himself in space.

(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2005)

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