Chinese Lunar Probe Ready for Launch

XICHANG, China, Sept. 28 (UPI) — China says its second lunar probe, the Chang’e-2, is ready to launch from Xichang, Sichuan province, possibly on the country’s National Day, Oct. 1.

The lunar probe has been installed atop its CZ-3Z rocket and has gone through three pre-launch simulated countdown tests, China Daily reported Tuesday.

Barring complications, the probe is likely to blast off from the No. 2 launch pad Oct. 1, launch center staff were reported as saying.

The Xichang Satellite Launch Center has been in operation for 40 years and successfully sent 57 satellites into orbit, China Daily said.

Chang’e-2 will orbit the moon, testing key soft-landing technologies for the Chang’e-3 and provide high-resolution photographs of the selected landing area, authorities said.

Local tour agencies are offering a one-day tour for $119, which includes watching the launch of the second lunar probe from 2 miles away.

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