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China seeks inspiration for lunar tunes

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, July 7 (Reuters) China's first lunar probe will blast 30 pieces of Chinese music into space when it is launched next year, state media said today, and it wants the public to put in its requests.

China's first space satellite, launched by a Long March rocket in 1970, orbited the Earth playing the Cultural Revolution anthem ''The East is Red''.

This time, mission control will solicit suggestions from the public.

''The Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, which is in charge of the lunar-probing project, said it had begun to seek recommendations from the general public for the music to be played in space,'' Xinhua said.

Weighing in at 2,350 kg with a 130 kg payload, the satellite will spend a year orbiting the moon to collect three-dimensional images and data on the moon's surface and environment.

The satellite, which Xinhua says has a budget of 1.4 billion yuan (170 million dollar), is part of a three-stage project first approved in 2004 that includes a lunar vehicle by 2012 and a module to collect rock samples by 2017.

China became the third country to successfully send a man into space in 2003 and regularly sends up research satellites as part of an ambitious space programme.

REUTERS AD RAI1211

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