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Spokesman: China´s lunar probe program has no military purposes

Source: Xinhuanet | 11-02-2007 08:25

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

Scientific working staff watch the screen showing the movement of China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) in Beijing, Oct. 31, 2007. Chang'e-1 completes its last orbital transfer before leaving earth on Wednesday afternoon, a critical move to push it to fly to the moon "in a real sense". (Xinhua Photo)

BEIJING, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- China's first lunar probe program has no military motives, either in its engineering or scientific objectives, said a spokesman with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday.

"China has undertaken astronautical activities with the principle of 'peacefully utilizing space'," Pei Zhaoyu, the spokesman, told a press conference in Beijing.

"The purpose of China's space program, including missions to probe lunar and outer space, is to explore the universe and benefit humanity," Pei said, adding that China's lunar probe is an open and transparent program.

"The program's objective, general plan, technical means as well as the major developers and manufacturers, have all been publicized," he said, "we will also keep the public informed about the major progress of its research and development."

The spokesman said China is looking forward to carrying out active cooperation and communication with any other countries in exploring lunar and outer space.

"Actually, the Chang'e-1 program has already involved eight space experts from China's Hong Kong and Macao regions," Pei said, noting that the experts have joined an engineering commission consisting of 122 scientists to research and apply the information collected by the Chang'e-1 satellite.

According to the program's plan, the data collected by the satellite will be given to several research institutes and some will be shared internationally one year later.

He called upon Chinese across the world, including compatriots in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, to participate in China's space program to realize the Chinese dream of exploring the universe.

Another expert said at the conference that Chinese scientists are able to fully control the satellite to be attracted to the lunar orbit when it comes close to the moon which is a vital process for the success of the Chang'e-1 program.

"We have made many emergency plans for the process in which we will make the probe break so that the lunar gravity could capture it," said Sun Zezhou, deputy chief designer of the probe, "even the breaking moment had delayed for several hours, we would have plans."

The press conference, the first one on the flight condition of China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1, was held by the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

China's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, named after a fairy-tale Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, blasted off on a Long March 3A carrier rocket on Oct. 24 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province.


Editor:Yang Jie