China to land first probe on moon this year

2013-08-29 11:04
(Paolo Nespoli, Nasa, AP)

(Paolo Nespoli, Nasa, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing – China will land its first probe on the moon at the end of this year, state media reported on Wednesday, the next step in an ambitious space programme which includes eventually building a space station.

In 2007, China launched its first moon orbiter, the Chang’e One orbiter, named after a lunar goddess, which took images of the surface and analysed the distribution of elements.

That launch marked the first step in China’s three-stage moon mission, to be followed by an unmanned moon mission and then the retrieval of lunar soil and stone samples around 2017.

The official Xinhua news agency said that the Chang’e Three was on track for a landing towards the end of the year.

“Chang’e Three has officially entered its launch implementation stage following its research and construction period,” it cited a government statement as saying.

“The mission will see a Chinese orbiter soft-land, or land on the moon after using a technique to slow its speed, on a celestial body for the first time,” Xinhua added, without providing further details.

Chinese scientists have talked of the possibility of sending a man to the moon after 2020.

China successfully completed its latest manned space mission in June, when three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory critical in Beijing’s quest to build a working space station by 2020.

China is still far from catching up with the established space superpowers, the United States and Russia, which decades ago learned the docking techniques China is only now mastering.

Beijing insists its space programme is for peaceful purposes, but the US Defense Department has highlighted China’s increasing space capabilities and said Beijing is pursuing a variety of activities aimed at preventing its adversaries from using space-based assets during a crisis.
Read more on:    china  |  space

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.