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[i]The three-member crew were all veteran Air Force pilots before being selected as astronauts. Nie is the first general visiting space while his teammate Wang Yaping is China's first space traveler born in the 1980s, a generation growing up in era of reform and opening up.
All of them are members of the Communist Party of China.
Yang Liwei, the country's first astronaut, once told Xinhua that Chinese astronauts might not pray like their foreign counterparts do before they set off on a space mission; however, Communism, as their shared faith, supports them.
"If the country has its own space station, Chinese astronauts, who are Party members, might set up a Party branch up there," Yang said.[/i]
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