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China receives data from dark matter probe satellite

BEIJING, Dec. 22 — Ground stations in China have received data sent by "Wukong" — the country's first dark matter probe satellite, scientists announced Monday.

A station in Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang successfully tracked and received data from the Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday. It took about seven minutes to receive and record the information, and the data was transferred to the National Space Science Center, according to a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) statement.

The communication marks the establishment of a transmission link between the satellite and ground-based stations.

Stations in Beijing's Miyun and Sanya in south China's Hainan Province also tracked and received data from the satellite later on Sunday.

Scientists examined the data and believe it to be in the "correct format and of good quality," CAS said.

China on Thursday sent the country's first space telescope into space in a fresh search for signals of dark matter, invisible material that scientists say makes up most of the universe's mass.

The satellite was given the moniker "Wukong" after the Monkey King from the Chinese classical fiction "Journey to the West."

The satellite is designed to undertake a three-year space mission, but scientists hope it could last five. (PNA/Xinhua)

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