China Shoots for the Moon
Many among the Chinese have their head in the clouds – or the um, stars rather – as China gets ready to send its first moon probe satellite into outerspace.
Known as Chang’e No. 1, the public is excited for its bon voyage – especially 1,000 in particular who have purchased tickets to take part in the event. The Xichang Satellite Launching Center (aka destination liftoff for Chang’e No. 1), reports tickets were sold at a minimum of 800 yuan per person. Many have paid more than that for their ticket, and the price will most likely escalate right before takeoff.
Chang’e No. 1 is scheduled to leave earth on October 26th. The viewing platform can only seat around 2,000 people, so when you add in reserved spots for military personnel, engineers, and politicians – being an ordinary citizen with a ticket makes you a V.I.P. Currently, only domestic residents can visit the launch site – foreigners are banned.
The satellite launch is part of China’s innovative 3-part program designed to retrieve new and relevant information about the moon, including returning to earth with collected moon soil samples. The project is disassociated with any military affiliation and does not plan nor want to collaborate with any other nations for this endeavor.