BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) has got its name Wukong, announced by the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Wednesday.
It is named after the Monkey King in the classic Chinese tale, "Journey to the West," following a global campaign to solicit a name for the Chinese-made satellite.
"Yeah! My favorite name wins out. I love that monkey because it is brave in face of danger and always curious about the unknown world," reads a posting by the official DAMPE account on popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo.
Literally, "wu" means comprehension or understanding and "kong" means space, so "Wukong" the satellite has a mission to "understand the space," according to the NSSC.
Wukong is a household name in China. In the story, he has supernatural powers and is responsible for protecting a pilgrim from the East on a journey to India to retrieve the Buddhist sutras.
Like Wukong's sharp eyes that can see through everything, the DAMPE has the widest-ever observation spectrum and highest-ever energy resolution, more than 3 times higher than its other counterparts. It will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter.
"I too will retrieve knowledge of the universe," reads another posting on the DAMPE Weibo account.
Previous report said the DAMPE will be launched in mid-December but the exact date is yet announced.
The National Space Science Center, Purple Mountain Observatory of the CAS in Nanjing and People.cn launched a worldwide campaign to solicit a name for the DAMPE. The number of entries gathered from September 29 to October 31 reached 32,000, with nearly 1,000 received every day.