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Emily LakdawallaOctober 24, 2007

Successful launch for Chang'e 1!

In the fourth planetary liftoff this year (following Phoenix, Dawn, and Kaguya), China's Chang'e 1 launched successfully from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan at 10:05 UTC.

Chang'e 1 lifts off

scitech.people.com.cn

Chang'e 1 lifts off
Chang'e 1 began its journey to the Moon with the liftoff of a Long March 3A rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, China on October 24, 2007 at 10:05 UTC. The four characters on the side of the rocket spell "China Moon Probe." More launch photos
Chang'e 1 disappears into the clouds

scitech.people.com.cn

Chang'e 1 disappears into the clouds
Chang'e 1 began its journey to the Moon with the liftoff of a Long March 3A rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, China on October 24, 2007 at 10:05 UTC.
There's a really nice launch video here. Chang'e 1 is now in Earth orbit but should transfer to lunar orbit by November 5, joining Kaguya, and return its first images by the end of the same month. Chang'e 1 is equipped with a stereo camera -- I hope we'll see some great 3-D pictures of the Moon from Chang'e 1 before too long!

Congratulations to China! The International Lunar Decade is truly underway!

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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