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Chang´e One to complete 4 tasks


Source: | 10-26-2007 09:20

Special Report:   Chang'e I -Journey to the Moon

The ambitious plan for the Chang'e One moon orbiter was a long time in the making. Chief scientist for the program, Ouyang Ziyuan told CCTV the mission should accomplish four major tasks.

It's the nearest celestial body to the Earth. Yet it has been shrouded in mystery. Now the Chang'e probe is on its way to reveal the true appearance of the moon. The orbiter will obtain 3D images of the lunar surface.

Ouyang Ziyuan,chief scientist of Chang'e 1 lunar mission,said, "We will put together a 3-D topographical map of the moon. Previous maps were too sketchy in some parts, the south and north poles in particular. We will work out the best ever lunar map, which will correct past mistakes."

The Chang'e 1 will also analyze the distribution of 14 useful elements and materials on the lunar surface. Scientists will obtain data about what resources are available on the moon and select a site for a permanent lunar base. The third task is to assess the thickness of the lunar soil for the first time.

Ouyang Ziyuan said, "The fourth task is to explore the space environment between the earth and the moon. It is a must for every lunar mission. Japan is conducting this research. India will also try it. China was the first one to announce such a research program. We made the announcement back in 2002 or 2003."

The veteran scientist says lunar missions in the 1960s were more of scientific adventures, but today's missions are aimed at studying the moon's resources

and environment. He says China might have started later than the US and Russia, but its starting point is high. He is confident the Chang'e 1 mission can complete all its tasks and make breakthroughs in scientific research.