China's second lunar probe, the Chang'e-2, is set to blast off from Xichang, Sichuan province, with the launch possibly taking place on the National Day, media reports have said.
The launch rocket, CZ-3C, has been erected with the Chang'e-2 on top, totaling nearly 80 meters in length. As of Saturday, the whole launch system had gone through three pre-launch maneuvers, Guangzhou Daily reported.
Chief commanders of the five sub-systems of the Chang'e-2 program have all reportedly arrived in the city to make final preparations for the second lunar exploration. They will continue to carry out pre-launch tests as well as the fourth and final maneuvers before the launch.
The Chengdu Business Daily quoted launch center staff as having said that, barring complications, the probe is likely to blast off from the No 2 launch pad on Oct 1 at the earliest.
The Xichang Satellite Launch Center has been in operation for 40 years, during which time it has carried out 59 missions and successfully sent 57 satellites into orbit.