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Carrier rocket sent to launch base for moon landing

Updated: 2013-10-27 14:06
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - A Long March-3B carrier rocket is being transported towards the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China, after left Beijing Sunday morning, to prepare for the upcoming launch of Chang'e-3 moon probe.

The carrier rocket left the capital aboard a train and is scheduled to reach the launch center on Nov 1, said a statement from the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Compared with the carrier rocket of Chang'e-2 moon probe, this one has been equipped with a number of new technologies and its reliability has been further improved, the statement said.

All tests on the Chang'e-3 moon probe, which has been in Xichang since September 12, are going on smoothly, the statement added.

The Chang'e-3 moon probe is designed to carry China's first moon rover and soft-land on the moon. Its launch is scheduled at the end of this year.

It is part of the second stage of China's three-stage lunar probe program, orbiting, landing, and analyzing lunar soil and stone samples.