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China's Chang'e-3 rocket launch is one of the sexiest you'll ever see

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The Chinese National Space Administration has successfully launched its Chang'e-3 lunar probe to the moon. If all goes well from here, it'll be the first Chinese spacecraft to land on an extraterrestrial body — and the first rover to land on the moon in four decades.

The six-wheeled rover, called "Jade Rabbit" in English, is expected to start prowling the lunar surface in about two weeks. The probe blasted aboard a Long March 3B rocket from China's Xichang spaceport at 12:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, or 1:30 a.m. Monday Beijing time.


The entire launch was captured by the state-run CCTV, showing incredible multi-camera shots of the booster jettison, spacecraft separation, thruster firings, and some dizzying views of Earth taken from cameras aboard the booster.


[Via CCTV]