Communists own the skies once more!

Yang said he would "gain honor for the People's Liberation Army and for the Chinese nation." "I will not disappoint the motherland," he was quoted as saying. "I will complete each movement with total concentration."

Earlier this week, state-run CCTV cancelled plans to broadcast live television pictures of the launch on the advice of "space experts." Observers said China's leaders considered the political risks of a launch failure too great to allow live coverage. No outside journalists were allowed permits to cover the event, with only a few representatives of Chinese state-run media observing the launch.