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China's Lunar Probe Sends back 'Verbal' Wishes on Mid-Autumn Festival

China's first moon probe satellite Chang'e-1 sent back greetings to earth on Sunday, China's Mid-Autumn Festival.

"Let's (all Chinese compatriots) enjoy together the bright moonlight and look forward to our reunion," the verbal wishes said, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The traditional festival, which falls on the full-moon fifteenth day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, is associated with reunion.

The satellite also sent two songs, both featuring reunion, besides the verbal wishes. One is named "Ali Mountain Girl", a famous folk song of the Gaoshan ethnic group in Taiwan. The other, named "Wish to be with you forever" was written in the 1980s by Liang Hongzhi, a famed singer in Taiwan.

Launched on October 24 last year, the satellite was named after "Chang'e", the name of a fairy in traditional Chinese folklore, who lived on the moon with a rabbit and always missed her beloved husband.

The satellite, marked the first step of China's ambitious three-stage moon mission, had orbited the moon 3,024 times as of August 1.

As the first Mid-autumn Festival holiday has come along in China from September 13 to 15, 55.7 percent of the 1,313 respondents said they would spend the holiday with their families, according to an online survey by the website

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2008)

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