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China sends relay satellite toward moon’s far side

China today launched a satellite that will serve as the communications relay for a future probe on the moon’s far side. The satellite, dubbed Queqiao(Chinese for “Magpie Bridge”), lifted off from the Xichang Launch Center in southwest China atop a Long March 4C rocket at 5:28 a.m. local time May 21 (2:28 p.m. PT today).

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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