Chang'e 1, a Chinese satellite, lifted off Wednesday 24 October 2007 at 1805 local. The satellite is destined to orbit the moon for a year. A race of secondary world powers and developing nations seems to be happening, with Japan launching a lunar probe last month and India planning a lunar orbiter launch next year.
China alarmed potential higher-tech adversaries with a January test that destroyed Feng Yun, one of its own weather satellites. First reported by Aviation Week, the asat test was the first known live test to be conducted since Soviet and US tests in the mid-'80s.