China to beam music from satellite

China will transmit 30 pieces of Chinese music to the Earth from its first lunar satellite to be launched next year, state media reported.

According to a Xinhua News report, the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said it was seeking recommendations from the public on which tunes to play in a bid to increase public awareness of China's space program.

The public could choose from a list of 150 songs put forward by the commission's Lunar Probe Engineering Center, which included music from the country's 56 ethnic groups, pop music from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong and opera soundtracks, the report said.

The center said the public could vote on the Web sites of the TV Guide published by the country's biggest broadcaster, CCTV, and the center before August 9.

The final results would be made public in October, said the center.

Huang Qiang, spokesperson for the commission, said the Chinese central authorities approved the satellite project in 2004 as part of the three-stage Chang'e Program, which had a budget of 1.4 billion yuan ($170 million).

The program, named "Chang'e" after the legendary Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, aimed to eventually place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010.