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Yang Liwei
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    (June 21, 1965- )
    Born in Huludao, China
    Fighter pilot and astronaut
    Commander of Shenzhou 5 (October 15, 2003)
    First man launched into space by China
    Orbited earth 14 times
    Promoted to major general (2008)
    Although he was the first citizen of China in space, he was not the first Chinese person in space: Taylor Wang (a naturalized US citizen born in Shanghai) was a crew member on Space Shuttle mission STS-51-B in 1985.
    Prior to his launch, little information was made public about him or China's other astronaut candidates.
    Most of his comments from space were variants of 'I feel good' as he reported on his condition.
    He revealed that he had eaten dog meat (along with chicken and fish) in space.
    During an Air Force training exercise, he successfully landed his jet after one engine quit and the other flamed out.
    He was chosen for spaceflight training from a pool of over 1500 potential candidates.
    He was selected as China's first man in space for showing a 'calm mental state' and 'superb capability for self-control' during psychological tests.
    After his return, his wife asked what space was like and he replied, 'I saw our planet. It's so beautiful, like you.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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