Chinese researchers and technicians are making final preparations for the launch of the country's first moon orbiter.
Zhang Qingwei, minister in charge of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, says his team has nearly finished pre-launch tests.
The rocket and orbiter have been transported to the launch site and will blast off at the end of October. The mission has three main goals: to map three-dimensional images of the lunar surface, analyze dust on the moon, and study the space environment between the Earth and the moon. The minister says the next mission will be to launch a moon vehicle, and then safely return it to Earth.
(CCTV October 18, 2007)