China launched its first lunar probe on Wednesday, first step into its ambitious three-stage moon mission, marking a new milestone in the country's space exploration history.
The circumlunar satellite Chang'e-1 blasted off on a Long March 3A carrier rocket at 6:05 PM from the No. 3 launching tower in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center of southwestern Sichuan Province.
Chinese space experts, technicians and other work staff, joined by experts from Japan, Germany and other countries as well as millions of domestic audience from across the country, were watching the launching process.
(Xinhua News Agency October 24, 2007)