China to launch moon probe this year

The moon. Credit: AP

Seems like there has been a lot of space news of late from China.  According to the BBC, China will launch its first lunar probe this year, and expects to be able to land a man on the Moon within 15 years.

The Chang’e-1 lunar probe will be launched later this year aboard a Long March 3A rocket.  The probe will provide 3D images of the Moon, survey the lunar landscape, study lunar microwaves and estimate the thickness of the Moon’s soil.

The Moon exploration program includes a planned lunar fly-by in 2007, a “soft landing” in 2012, return of lunar samples by 2017, and landing an astronaut on the Moon within 15 years.

More info:  BBC article

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