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China to launch 1st lunar orbiter next year

Source: | 12-04-2006 14:13

Special Report:   China's Space Activities in 06

China is set to launch its first lunar orbiter "Chang'e I" early next year. Information from a summit held in Beijing this morning on the Development of Space Technology in the 21st Century says the satellite has been assembled and is now in tests.

The constructions of the rocket, the launching pad, the ground facilities and the monitoring system are all in their final phases. The moon orbiting project is the first step in China's overall lunar exploration program. The orbiting project will be followed by a remote-controlled lunar rover. In the third phase, a module will drill out a chunk of the moon and bring it back to the earth.

All three stages will be completed by 2017, when China will consider a manned lunar probe mission. Authorities say China is also seeking international cooperation in developing space technology, which includes a possible joint exploration of Mars by China and Russia.


Editor:Du Xiaodan