This is Tiangong I - or Heavenly Palace in English - the rocket that China hopes will propel its nascent space program into the 21st century.
The experimental craft is paving the way for the country's first space station to rival that of fierce competitors the US and Russia.
The small, unmanned Tiangong 1 will blast off from a site in the Gobi Desert amid much fanfare around Thursday, state media said.
A female engineer on the test team said she always felt sentimental before take-off.
(SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) UNIDENTIFIED STAFF OF TIANGONG 1 TESTING TEAM SAYING:
"Every time before a rocket is launched, I would walk from its tip to the bottom, touching it, saying good-bye to it, wishing it a good journey."
Beijing hopes a successful launch will showcase its growing technological prowess to the world, ahead of huge National Day celebrations on October 1.
But the country has some way to go before it catches up with the space superpowers.
Russia, the US and other countries jointly operate the International Space Station while China is not involved.
The country is jostling with neighbours Japan and India for a bigger presence in space, but its plans have faced international wariness.
Beijing says its space ambitions are peaceful.
Sunita Rappai, Reuters