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China selects top tunes for singing satellite

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China has celebrated today's Moon Festival by releasing a list of ditties to be broadcast back to Earth from its Moon-probing satellite due for launch in 2007, Reuters reports.

According to Xinhua news agency, the songs were selected by public vote and a "panel of experts" not thought to include Simon Cowell. The winner was folk ballad My Wonderful Home Town which pipped crowd-pleasers I Love China and Singing Praises of Motherland into second and third spots, respectively.

Also on the playlist are China's national anthem and The East is Red - "a tribute to Mao Zedong, which was broadcast in 1970 from the country's first man-made terrestrial satellite".

Xinhua said: "Experts said these songs can express Chinese people's love for the motherland, for life, peace and their pursuit of truth and nature, which will showcase the beauty of Chinese culture and its influence."

When it's not singing the praises of the Motherland, China's lunar satellite will "obtain 3D images of the lunar surface, analyze elements and probe the depth of the lunar soil". ®

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