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Author Topic:   Shenzhou VII crew autograph examples
spaceflori
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posted 09-25-2008 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since Shenzhou 7 launched successfully today it wouldn't hurt to know how the three taikonaut autographs look like:

These three taikonauts were again selected from the first group of 14 candidates which are similar to the Mercury 7 or Vostok 6.

Bob M
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posted 09-25-2008 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We've been through this before, but just how sure are we that these Taikonaut autographs seen and offered in so many places are authentic?

There were several Chinese sellers of these on eBay, with one having a mailing address at a university in China. When asked for information about when and where the autographs originated, he stated that he has a friend in the Chinese space program that gets them for him - a nice story, but not real solid provenance.

The beautiful and tempting covers signed by 14 Taikonauts originally sold for $1,000-$2,000 each, but after the supply exceeded the demand, at least one seller offered his 14 Taikonaut signed covers at two for $500.

The covers appear in various places, signed by various Taikonauts and teams, and often sell for impressive amounts.

mjanovec
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posted 09-25-2008 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I appreciate that Florian is trying to give us examples of authentic signatures for reference...but I have to agree with Bob and say that any exemplars shown to the public as being "authentic" must come with some sort of provenance that reduces any doubt about authenticity...especially for Taikonaut signatures, where in-person collecting is difficult for most western collectors. Examples of undoubtedly authentic signatures (with provenance) seem to be hard to come by and collectors often have to rely on less-than-ideal explanantions regarding authenticity. Until better assurance of authenticity can be made, I will probably sit by the sidelines and avoid purchasing any purported Taikonaut signatures for my collection.

Of course, it's possible Florian has provenance on the above signatures and can provide it. If so, it would greatly strengthen the reference value of these signatures.

spaceflori
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posted 09-26-2008 12:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed the concerns can't be wiped from the table.

When I started buying Chinese taikonaut signatures I had these doubts myself.

In the meantime we were able to obtain further information and reference from Chinese collectors and officials over there that these signatures are indeed authentic:

  1. All flown covers are notarized and officially signed by the taikonauts - there is no doubt - like with US insurance covers and Russian KNIGA covers. So at least there are lots of examples of guaranteed authentic examples out there. I have one of Zhai Zhigang in my shop currently.

  2. Yang Liwei has signed during his tour after his flight numerous autographs inperson - like in Vienna/Austria. These can be compared as well with other signatures on the market.

  3. I have spoken with the head of one of the Chinese stamp clubs who was a long time friend of our former president Peter Wilhelm. He confirmed that these signatures are indeed authentic. There are about 5000 space collectors in China, mostly organized, but obviously few with the money to buy these things.

  4. Forging Chinese signatures in China can be the cause for a death penalty. I seriously doubt that longtime collectors would risk that for a couple bucks. It would be easier to forge foreign signatures which isn't under penalty.
What's still unanswered is the question when and where these signatures actually signed but considering the common secrecy in China with lots of items this doesn't surprise me.

Remember China is a different country with a different mentality most people don't understand (or don't want to understand), so things don't work like we are used to.

Hope this helps a bit - bottom line is collecting these Chinese signatures is not more or less dangerous than collecting US signatures, at least those 99.99% that weren't collected in-person but through the mail. How do we really know if Bill Anders hasn't used 10 secretaries and so on...

spaceflori
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posted 09-26-2008 12:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I may add that Juergen Esders compiled a great study about Chinese taikonaut signatures, also from flown covers that are signed by all 14 taikonauts - so we have in fact guaranteed authentic samples of all 14 candidates.

mjanovec
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posted 09-26-2008 04:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by spaceflori:
How do we really know if Bill Anders hasn't used 10 secretaries and so on....

With Anders, we know because we have over 40 years of accumulated knowledge and examples (in-person signatures, official documents/presentations, signed items for friends/co-workers, etc.) from which to base conclusions of signature authenticity. Items signed by different hands that aren't highly skilled in forgery (i.e. secretaries) will take on certain identifiable characteristics...such as the different Shepard secreterials that have been identified over the years.

While I know it's unreasonable to expect 40 years of knowledge about the Taikonaut signatures, some specific provenance would be ideal (especially for examples advertised for reference). What are the specific sources for the three signatures provided in this thread, for example?

eurospace
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posted 09-26-2008 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It helps to recall that China is indeed still a communist country, the Chinese space programme is under the authority of the Red Army, was covered in total secrecy until very recent, and that it is the policy of the Chinese authorities that only State owned companies are authorized to sell souvenirs from the space programme.

While flown items with notarial certificates have been sold through these channels and have a presentation that is exemplary both from the documentary side as from the quality of the presentation, autographed items have thus far not been on the selling roster of these official channels.

In other words: by their very nature, autographed items are sold exclusively on the grey market, and through collectors who have close contacts to key people in the space program. It depends really on the quality and the trust established to these contacts to build trust in the authenticity of the items sold. I have no problem with that - I prefer private business to state economy, even if it means we need to watch things closer...

My source, for instance, is a space stamp collector who has been showing his exhibit and won medals on International Stamp Exhibitions. I could examine his collection during the recent EFIRO World Stamp Exhibition at Bucarest. The items he presented in abundancy were of outmost exclusivity. There were, for instance, examples of burnt space mail that survived the crash of Shenzhou 2 at landing. To my knowledge, this sort of material hasn't even been offered to anyone on the non-Chinese market (and believe me, I have asked).

mjanovec
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posted 09-26-2008 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
It depends really on the quality and the trust established to these contacts to build trust in the authenticity of the items sold.
While I understand your point, I can't help but think that "trust" in no way replaces the need for provenance. Trusted sources have let us down in the past.

I understand that China is a communist country and there might be severe penalties for forging signatures, but I can't help but wonder if the amount of money that stands to be gained (which is substantial, especially for the average Chinese citizen) from forgeries outweighs the risks of being caught. Greed isn't something restricted only to non-communist countries. If anything, communism seems to encourage black market activity more than any other social system. If I were a Chinese forger, I would just make sure any dealings were made to non-Chinese people in a semi-secret environment...probably by establishing a link to a non-Chinese dealer who would sell the items on my behalf. And, of course, I would have a great back story to make my story seem all the more plausible, saying I had links to the space program to make my dealer-distributor feel good about the autographs.

I'm not saying that's what's happening now, because I simply have no evidence of that. And it's quite probable that genuine signatures are on the market. I also have no doubt there are honest collectors in China, just like there are in any country. But I would personally need greater assurances before blindly trusting the source of a source that these autographs are genuine. Too little is known about these signatures and there is too much of a veil of secrecy around China...which creates a perfect environment for forgeries.

(J├╝rgen - If you have a link to your taikonaut study, I would be very interested in reading it sometime. Perhaps it will reduce some of my concerns.)

Bob M
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posted 09-26-2008 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While there is less or no real doubt about the authenticity of Taikonaut signed flown covers that originate from CAST (Chinese Academy of Space Technology), since this is an official government organization, Taikonaut autographed material from non-official sources seems to be somewhat more in question.

When these Taikonaut autographs first started appearing after the 1st Taikonaut flight, and then again after the 2-man flight, some of us were curious and concerned about exactly where, and under what circumstances, these Taikonaut scribbles were coming from.

I found that sellers had little more knowledge than I did, so I contacted one of the Chinese eBay sellers and, as mentioned above, was informed that he had obtained his autographs from a friend in the Chinese space program, and the seller's address was at a university in the People's Republic of China.

After what Jurgen has stated above (only state owned organizations are authorized to sell souvenirs from the Chinese space program), it does seem very odd that an individual Chinese would be a distributor of Taikonaut autographs, and not some official source.

But I ordered a signed cover by the 2-man Shenzhou 6 crew for about $40, from that individual, and the return address on the shipment was from a university in Red China. I added the autographs to my collection, but would only consider them as examples and would not have confidence that they are totally genuine. I hope that they are and they may be, but I wonder.

I'm afraid that I'm just not a trusting collector, and really require information and more proof of authenticity with the autographs I buy.

spaceflori
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posted 09-27-2008 12:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still can't see the difference between buying a Charles Conrad autograph (e.g.) on eBay and compare it with a known sample of him and buying a Yang Liwei and compare it with over 250 known authentic samples? It's a different language and writing, yes, but an autograph is an autograph.

I strongly believe Chinese are humans as well and write with their left or right hand and apply the same technics than we do (different pressure of ink etc.).

For most American or Russian autographs we don't have provenance or reference either. Just because someone says it has been received through the mail once is not a better or worse proof of authenticity.

I'm not defending the one or other side just trying to be realistic. There are questions open and the Chinese collectors should try to answer them.

However it's the autograph itself that counts, stories around can be easily made.

eurospace
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posted 09-27-2008 02:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bob M:
I'm afraid that I'm just not a trusting collector, and really require information and more proof of authenticity with the autographs I buy.
The situation in China is identical to the situation in Russia: all signed material comes from more or less reputable private sources with access to Star City. There is no such thing as proof of provenance or certificates of authenticity, and we have discussed the worthlessness of COAs of 3rd parties at long and at large on this message board.

What you are looking for does not exist and will not exist. You only have the chance to operate in unknown territory and trust your guts, eyes and ears, by the best of your knowledge or common sense, or stay at home and deplore how unpleasant and insecure the world (which you have not endeavoured) has become.

The single other practical alternative is: meet the taikonauts in person and have them sign. In China or elsewhere. You keep us posted when you have succeeded. And if we know about it early enough, we might stand in the same queue together waiting and have some fun together - just as we had at KSC ten years ago.

mjanovec
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posted 09-27-2008 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by eurospace:
The situation in China is identical to the situation in Russia: all signed material comes from more or less reputable private sources with access to Star City.
Yes, and we've never seen a forgery come out of Russia, have we?
quote:
There is no such thing as proof of provenance or certificates of authenticity, and we have discussed the worthlessness of COAs of 3rd parties at long and at large on this message board.
Don't confuse provenance and COAs. They are two completely different things. Provenance is the documented history of the signature and the hands it has passed through to get to you. Provenance does no good, however, unless there is transparency all the way though the history. For example, saying a signature originated from an unnamed source in China who has unnamed contacts with the space agency is hardly transparent.

I understand that the situation is likely to be cloudy in China for many years to come. For me, collecting based on trust of those I don't know (or the trust of those whose names aren't even revealed) isn't worth the risk of the investment at this time.

quote:
The single other practical alternative is: meet the taikonauts in person and have them sign. In China or elsewhere.
That is not the only alternative. Another alternative is to sit back and wait, watching for patterns and inconsistencies to emerge in the purported taikonaut autographs... until sufficient knowledge has been gained about these signatures to allow for a more informed purchase. Shepard secreterials weren't identified overnight. Peachstate forgeries weren't discovered in a week. Some German forgery styles are still being uncovered to this day (largely by American authenticators, but that's beside the point).

I simply urge caution for potential buyers of taikonaut autographs. Ask yourself what you really know about a signature before you purchase it. If you feel comfortable about the purchase and are willing to risk your money, then go for it.

(I would still like to hear the provenance of the three signatures presented as exemplars at the top of this thread... if only to strengthen the claim towards their authenticity before people use them to identify other authentic signatures.)

Ken Havekotte
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posted 09-27-2008 05:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In commemoration of China's first manned spaceflight in Oct. 2003, my company was eager to secure quality-authentic Shenzhou-5 philatelic material and genuine signatures of their first taikonaut to fly into space, Yang Liwei. Contacts were made within China and with some major well-established European source companies in order to secure, in some quantities, such material for private collectors and possible resale purposes. If I recall, all of my Shenzhou-5 astrophilately came from official sources with many professional and beautiful pieces mainly issued by the Beijing Aerospace Post Office.

Flown, but unsigned, mission covers were produced by the Beijiing Aerospace Post Office and China's DAWN Aerospace Bio-tech Co. LTD., and many of their productions were well documented with quantities of each listed along with a serial number of each.

How does this relate to the topic at hand?

After months of inquiring about obtaining genuine signatures of Liwei and possibly other autographs of taikonauts in training and Shenzhou program officials, nothing developed from our China nor European sources. We were told that signatures of China's first astronaut would be extremely difficult to secure (why???) and would probably be very costly.

Even to this day, I am not aware of a single good source to obtain autograph material as described, not even in China. Of course, their first manned flight was nearly 5 years ago, and there may indeed be a primary source somewhere in China or elsewhere to obtain such autograph material.

But I have to agree with Bob, Mark, and Jurgen when it comes to purchasing Taikonaut signatures from private Chinese individuals, from an university address, or what have you. Without question, in my opinion, forgeries can be a real concern here in a big populated country so far away that we know very little about when it comes to such issues.

Back in 1995 there was another episode that concerned forged signatures of cosmonauts and astronauts that I'll comment on later when time permits that is similar, in some ways, to the current issue at hand.

spaceflori
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posted 09-28-2008 09:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flown covers were produced by dozens and dozens of different organisations, contractors etc. - many of those we never heard of before.

HF Virnich has compiled an incredible study about these covers and what he found out so far. The study has not been published yet as it's still "under construction".

The best presented flown covers that have reached the Western markets are those from CAST or CASC, not DAWN or Bejing Aerospace - their presentations are lousy compared to the CAST walnut suitcases. (I used to carry different varieties incl. DAWN but most serious collectors aim for CAST now).

CAST has produced signed flown covers that were officially signed, clearly marked as such and numbered consecutively. You can see the one from Shenzhou 5 signed by now spacewalker Zhai Zhigang in my shop.

Since the real taikonaut was secret just shortly before launch they made three series signed by Yang, Zhigang and Haisheng. Their serial numbers are known and notarized.

It is not as some people here say that nothing is known about China and their space collectibles. Just a lot of information is now unfolding and needs to be researched.

Chinese collectors, by the way, have collections we only dream about (obviously some have the money now). Handwritten letters by Galileo Galileo, early rocket mail covers, etc.

Bob M
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posted 09-28-2008 12:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At this time, it appears that Taikonaut autographs, other than those on the very rare and expensive official government CAST flown covers, are provenance-weak, and that presents a dilemma for those of us who collect autographs of all the space voyagers.

The dilemma is, do we pay fairly large sums for easily available but provenance-weak Chinese Taikonaut autographs, or pay huge sums for rarely available official CAST signed flown covers, or just have holes in our collections?

These beautiful and well-done Taikonaut signed covers and photos are very tempting to many collectors and have appeared in many places, including big auction houeses, where they usually sell for much more than dealers sell them for.

A good solution for collectors to this Taikonaut signature problem would be for the Chinese government to provide Taikonaut autographs on routine material through official channels, but who knows if such a thing will ever happen?

But in the meantime, if the guy at the Chinese university pops up again on eBay offering signed covers by the three Shenzhou 7 Taikonauts, then I guess I'll be one of many forking over the required funds to add "examples" of Zhigang's, Boming's and Haipeng's signatures to my collection.

However, it will be a lucky collector who will have the opportunity to meet the Taikonauts and obtain their autographs in person. For the rest of us, we'll have to decide on other options.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 09-28-2008 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Florian--Certainly the CAST-sponsored flown covers are indeed some of the elite, or "top line," quality items with certified taikonaut signatures. I am sure everyone would agree as there is no question in my mind about their authenticity. But those covers, cards, folders, etc. issued by Beijiing Aerospace and DAWN Aerospace Bio-tech do provide a marketplace for worldwide collectors with rather limited budgets. In my opinion, their astrophilately products are fine for many general collectors and space enthusiasts considering their wholesale availability to dealer outlets, which in term, can be offered to collectors at a reasonable price. Their cachet productions with the stamps and postal markings used in China all appear genuine to me from what are sources have told us.

spaceflori
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posted 09-28-2008 11:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Ken, indeed the DAWN and other contractor flown covers are an inexpensive alternative to CAST. Their authenticity is (as all notarized items) beyond any question.

I should be getting flown Shenzhou 7 covers soon once they are released, so let's see what they have for us this time.

One thing aside all the discussion above: I've been desperately trying to get good signed photos of the taikonauts for several years (larger than the postcard sized ones).

Also I was hoping to get some group-signed photos yet I've been told the unflown taikonauts are either secret or the photos are not available.

Now considering the fact that if there is something wrong with these autographs... wouldn't the Chinese sellers (or at least one!) trying to cater us with all different sorts of things we inquire for?

As Ken pointed out - I was hearing a "no" from China more often than I hoped. We have over a dozen sources in China and none could provide us with all the items my customers are asking for.

I doubt the Chinese government is ever going to sell "official" autographs - neither the US government nor the Russian government (except the KNIGA thing maybe which was done through a dealer - Sieger) did so far. Why should they?

If you go to Energyia and ask for a flown ISS cover they will charge you $25,000 (no joke). Yet you can get the same cover at a fraction of the price. Is it bad therefore? No, of course not.

That's what I'm saying, business works differently over there.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 09-29-2008 05:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am just curious to know (and was asked recently) if Chinese citizens, especially young space fans, can write to their favorite taikonauts at their home training facility and request a siganture or picture? How does the Chinese government handle such requests from their own people, if even permitted to?

We know that with American, Russian, and European space fliers, in most cases, there are public relation offices and mail rooms that can accommodate public responses and requests for pictures, signatures, and literature.

But how about the space agencies of Canada and Japan? One of my Canadian associates told me that in trying to obtain an autograph from a Canadian astronaut thru the mail isn't as easy as one would think. Some of my earlier Canadian Space Agency contacts from the 1980s are no longer active.

Japan, on the other hand, I have no idea even though I have worked with Japanese space officials, and still do, but never requested any signed material from them, and will never do so (nor from anyone else).

eurospace
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posted 09-29-2008 02:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, it is easy to answer your question on the TTM practice of the respective Canadian, Japanese and Chinese space agencies:

- CSA is very organized with their office policy: the replies take time (as the Canadian astronauts are based at Houston for most of the year), but they are meticulously replied to, sometimes to the point of sending a receipt letter informing the requestor that the reply may take several months to come forward.

- JAXA's astronauts have always replied through the mail while still at their home base, and generously so. Once transferred to Houston, the replies take considerably longer.

- No replies have been heard of when writing to the equivalent of the Johnson Space Center in China. Not one. Occasionnally, Chinese embassies in foreign countries have assisted collectors in their quest. But direct replies are unknown. I am unaware whether signing autographs through the mail is part of the Chinese cultural heritage.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 09-29-2008 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jurgen -- Thanks for the reply. It would appear that China has no TTM-policies whatsoever, but what about fan mail from their own citizens?

Surely Chinese space enthusiasts must be writing to the taikonauts -- if just to send their best wishes for a successful upcoming space mission or something -- unless such a practice is not the norm in their culture at all.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-29-2008 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
China noticeably changed its approach to its taikonauts with the flight of Shenzhou VI as a result of lessons learned with Shenzhou V.

After Yang Liwei landed, he was (quite naturally) seen a national hero and clamored over by the Chinese public. Not only were his public appearances overflowing with attendees, but Chinese businesses sought to associate his name with theirs (so much so that the Chinese government trademarked Yang Liwei's name such that it would be illegal to use commercially).

In China, as a communist country, the celebration is meant to be of the country's success, not the individual and as such, officials did what they could to minimize the type of reception Yang had received when they flew Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng. The two made fewer public appearances, did not tour the globe (to this day, they have not been the U.S., while Yang made two trips) and their names were kept more low key as had been done for their predecessor to space.

With Shenzhou VII, it seems China has relinquished a bit, celebrating Zhai's spacewalk as an individual accomplishment but it will be interesting to see how available he and his crew are once they are released from quarantine. They will most certainly tour certain regions of China (Hong Kong in particular, as China has used their taikonauts from the start to try instill a sense of national pride by those living in the city), and likely visit the United Nations in Vienna but it is not yet clear how much of a hero-status China wants to afford its third space crew.

I offer this observation as a possible indication of their autograph customs. An autograph, by definition, highlights the individual and might be seen as counter to the communist focus on the nation's success as a whole.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 09-29-2008 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert--Well said, however, is there no official agency relations and/or policies in possibly replying to their own citizens that may be requesting Shenzhou-related pictures, literature, and possibly signatures? What would the result be if a Chinese space fan did write or email them with such a request (does anyone know)?

Apollo-Soyuz
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posted 09-30-2008 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had a request in for China's first taikonaut Yang Liwei since June 21, 2004. I did on a chance the request may be honored. It now has been 4 years. I received a cosmonaut request after 5 years. So who knows.

Bob M
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posted 09-30-2008 03:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've been in contact with eBay seller "Rearby," from Chong Qing, China, who has a beautiful and impressive photo on eBay signed by three Taikonauts, including Yang Liwei and one Taikonaut each from the 2nd and 3rd Shenzhou flights. This is the same type signed photo I've seen here and there for several years.

I 1st asked the seller where and when the photo was signed and he responded in fairly good English that it was signed at BeiJing space city, after the ShenZhou-5 return and that he got it from a friend at space city and that he got it signed from the Taikonauts.

Next I asked if he might have signed material from the Shenzhou 7 mission and he said that he doesn't have covers autographed by the ShenZhou-7 crew at this time, but maybe wait for 15-20 days and he will.

His name is Li and is evidently a different seller than the person that I bought my Shenzhou 6 crew signed cover from, who was Guo Yan Ming.

So it does look like there will be autographed material available for Shenzhou 7.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-08-2008 03:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Granted, the scan is small and we need to assume that China decided to use authentic signatures for these pre-prints on their stamp sheets, but the following may be the first 'official' examples of the Shenzhou VII crew's autographs:

mjanovec
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posted 10-08-2008 03:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I am not experienced with Chinese characters, there appear to be quite a few differences between the autograph examples that Robert posted and the examples that Florian posted. While they could both be done by the same hands, I believe this only points to the need for greater assurances before investing money in these signatures.

I am still interested in knowing where Florian's examples came from.

spaceflori
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posted 10-09-2008 03:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, please note that these stamp sheets are NOT official!

And particulary since Apollo 11 we know that even clear fake or secretarial signatures have been used on other countries space stamps. (I once posted a sheet along with the Apollo 11 secretarial discussion).

The stamps themselves are valid Chinese stamps however similar to Austria, the US and other countries anybody could "create" anything around these stamps like on the stickers attached here.

We've been talking to Schwaneberger Verlag (distributor of the well known Michel stamp catalogs) and they have a serious problem with all these different privately issued stamp sheets and other creations that ALWAYS include a legitimate valid stamp, but anything around is privately done!

spaceflori
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Posts: 1399
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 10-09-2008 03:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a set of postcards with the different signatures - again I don't know "how official" they are but the signatures can be seen as well and from what I can judge these are actual signatures of the taikonauts.

For Mark: please note that even US astronauts like Chiaki Mukai have used Japanese signatures in a horizontal and vertical writing styles!

spaceflori
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Posts: 1399
From: Germany
Registered: May 2000

posted 10-09-2008 03:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceflori   Click Here to Email spaceflori     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are two examples of these privately done stamp sheets - both have used the same common Chinese stamp - anything around is privately done.

The faces/portraits are no stamps, simply printed stickers:

Bob M
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Posts: 1393
From: Atlanta-area, GA USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 10-28-2008 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob M   Click Here to Email Bob M     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Covers signed by the Shenzhou-7 Taikonauts (Zhigang, Haipeng and Boming) are now on eBay and have been selling. Chinese eBay seller "Rearby" has sold three Shenzhou-7 signed covers in the last 15 days (two for $160 and one for $170) and has two now on eBay. He also has a number of Yang Liwei signed photos (six) and they are offered with Buy it Now's for only between $36 and $42.

"Rearby" also has a Website where he displays a number of other Shenzhou-7 signed covers. A request for information on the source of his Taikonaut signed Shenzhou-7 covers only resulted in another...they come from BeiJing Space-city.

The Shenzhou-7 signed covers are expensive and, going by past experiences, there will be a good many available later and the prices should come down. After a number of Shenzhou-6 signed covers remained unsold, the seller dropped their price and I was able to get a nice signed cover for only $40. Perhaps patient collectors should wait a while and find signed Shenzhou-7 covers by the original seller later on eBay for $60-75 - maybe. But be careful, as these "bargain" over-stocked Taikonaut signed covers/photos do sell and have a way of showing up in other places later with a high markup.

saturn1b
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Posts: 131
From: Westcliffe, CO
Registered: Jun 2006

posted 04-03-2009 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for saturn1b   Click Here to Email saturn1b     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
China's first spacewalker and mission commander, taikonaut Zhai Zhingang was present at the 25th annual Space Symposium this week (March 30-April 2) in Colorado Springs. He was here to receive the Space Achievement Award for the mission team.

After the ceremony, I was able to meet him and he was kind enough to sign my program. If there were any other cS'ers present, please contact me.

All times are CT (US)

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