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Emily LakdawallaOctober 15, 2007

Chang'e 1 launching October 22-25

EDIT: Another update: The launch time has been formally announced as October 24, 2007 at 10:05 UTC (03:05 PDT).


Wang Chun just sent me another email pointing me to a Chinese news story that announces that Chang'e 1 is launching in a week! The launch date is given as a range, October 22-25. Chun also pointed out that Google now has an automated translator for Chinese, so here's the news article about Chang'e 1's upcoming launch in all its Google-translated glory. The translation is no worse than the automated Japanese translations I've waded through for Hayabusa coverage; most of the sense of the article is at least somewhat intelligible, though I do wonder what "Whether on the 2nd or the 3rd Tap Tap, has a foreign make space experts have read the secret" means. Most of the article appears to be a narrative by the reporter about visiting the mountainous setting of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. I don't see any indication in the article of whether it is going to be a daytime or nighttime launch. Here's a photo of a daytime rocket launch from Xichang, in which you can see its hilly background. Clouds of steam rise up from the launch because (according to the article) there is a water-filled trough beneath the pad to absorb the heat and vibration energy of the launch.

Stay tuned for more news!

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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