China Central Television this week has gushed with the news that Communist Party members account for 70% of the people working on the development of the Shenzhou 8 spacecraft and the Tiangong 1 module that will serve as its docking target.
For the sake of the success of the mission, one hopes that they have been selected as Communist Party members because they are on the program, and that they are on the program because they are excellent scientists and engineers. It would be unfortunate if it were the other way around: that they were selected for the program because they were Communist Party members.
The two spacecraft are due to be launched in the second half of the year to demonstrate China's docking system. They will not be manned.