The key scientists behind China's first lunar probe project, the Chang'e One, have just been honored by the country's top leaders.
China's leadership regards Chang'e One as an important stimulation for scientific innovation and a stepping stone for deep space exploration.
A moment of joy and triumph for Chinese scientists, the successful launch of the country's first lunar probe.
Today, their work is being recognized by China's top leadership. President Hu Jintao, along with other leaders, are holding a grand ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to celebrate the first-phase lunar probe project's success.
For the first time since October's Party National Congress, all members of the Politburo's Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee have gathered for the celebration.
President Hu Jintao said, "The success of Chang'e One means that China's dreams of flying to moon for thousands of years, have been realized. It has opened a new chapter for China. Our country has now joined the ranks of the world's few nations with the capability of deep space exploration."
Hu Jintao stressed China's peaceful purpose of space exploration.
He also called on the nation to learn from aerospace workers and to do more for the modernization of China. He hopes the spirit will be carried forward as China endeavors to build a well-off society.
He stressed that innovation in technology is the core of the nation's competitiveness.
Being honored by the country has inspired the scientists. Representatives of the the five major systems of Chang'e One project made speeches.
Zhang Weiqing, Minister of Comm. of Sci.,Tech. & Industry for Nat'l Defense, said, "We will make good use of the first hand data we receive from the moon, and will publish our first standard research results. We will keep up the pace in the second phase of the Chang'e project, overcoming difficulties and realizing the final objectives of China's lunar mission."
Chang'e One satellite is China-designed and produced. Scientists have worked long and hard to make their dreams come true. The satellite is now sending back data for scientific research.
Just two years ago, Hu Jintao and other leaders held similar celebrations for the astronauts of China's second manned space mission. The Chang'e One marks another milestone. With the success of its first lunar probe, China is aiming even farther into space exploration.