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TOPIC: Chang'e Lunar Satellite


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China launched its first lunar probe Wednesday, the first step in an ambitious 10-year plan to send a rover to the moon and return it to earth.
State television showed pictures of the Chang'e 1 orbiter taking off with a trail of smoke from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province in southwestern China.

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China has launched its first lunar orbiter, on a planned year-long exploration mission to the Moon.
The satellite, named Chang'e 1, took off from the Xichang Centre in south-west China's Sichuan province at 1800 local time (1000 GMT).
Analysts say it is a key step towards China's aim of putting a man on the Moon by 2020, in the latest stage of an Asian space race with Japan and India.

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China was on schedule to launch its first lunar probe Wednesday evening, a space official and state media said.
The scheduled launch of the Chang'e 1 orbiter comes just weeks after China's regional rival Japan put one in orbit over the moon in a big leap forward for Asia's undeclared space race.
India is likely to join the rivalry soon, with plans to send its own lunar probe into space in April.
China's launch was expected to take place at 6 p.m. local time, said Li Guoping, spokesman for the China National Space Administration.

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A Chinese submarine will send test signals that could change the course of a satellite when China launches its first moon orbiter, as part of the country's effort to develop space war technology, a human rights watchdog said Tuesday.
The Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said two survey ships are deployed in the South Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean to send signals to manoeuvre the lunar exploration satellite, expected to be launched Wednesday. At the same time, a nuclear-powered submarine will send simulated signals to the satellite as a test, it said in a statement.

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Flying to the moon has been a Chinese dream for thousands of years. With the launch of China's first lunar exploration project -- the Chang'e 1-- this ancient desire is coming closer to becoming a modern reality.
This is the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory. The staff are preparing to process data from China's first moon probe project-- the Chang'e 1.

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The Xichang Satellite Launch Centre is located in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

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The chance for amateur astronomy buffs to observe China's first moon orbiter, likely to be launched on Wednesday, is very slim, Chinese space experts said on Tuesday.
The circumlunar satellite, named Chang'e I, is very tiny in open space as it is only 18.1 meters long even when its solar energy board is fully extended, said Sun Zezhou, deputy chief designer of the satellite.
The satellite is very much likely to be invisible since it is neither illuminated nor covered with a special surface to reflect light

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China will launch its first lunar orbiter at 6:05pm tomorrow from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province, officials confirmed at a news conference this morning.

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A Chinese Long March 3A rocket is scheduled to launch the Chang'e 1 spaceprobe to the moon, from the Xichang launch site at 10:00 GMT, 24th October, 2007.

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China will announce the launch time of its first lunar satellite at a news conference on Monday, the Shanghai Securities News reports quoting the Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defence.

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