Names of China's Secret Astronauts Revealed by Autographed Envelope reports that a collectible signed envelope appears to reveal the formerly hidden identities of seven pilots selected to join China’s space programme last year:

“The names of the military pilots selected in 2010 to form China’s second group of taikonauts — which have been a closely guarded secret for the last 18 months — appear to have been released [as the result of] a possible philatelic blunder,” said Tony Quine, an Isle of Man-based space memorabilia collector and contributing writer for the British Interplanetary Society’s “Spaceflight” magazine.

Quine worked with Russian space industry expert Igor Lissov to confirm the envelope’s autographs since finding it listed for sale on a German space dealer’s website two days ago. The two elicited the assistance of Chinese space enthusiasts to help verify the translation of the seven signatures.

See more on China’s space programme, via CDT.

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