CHINA / National

China advocates peaceful use of space exploration
Updated: 2006-07-25 13:43

China's top space official said on Tuesday that China advocates the peaceful use of both lunar and outer space resources for the benefit of all people.

Sun Laiyan, director of China National Space Administration, said China's lunar exploration activities are designed to improve its independent innovation and promote its science, technology and social development.

As a developing country, the fundamental task for China is to further boost economic development, raise the living standards of its people, and advance its national modernization drive, he told the ongoing 8th International Lunar Exploration Working Group Conference in Beijing.

He said China's first lunar orbiter is expected to be launched next year as scheduled.

More than 1.4 billion yuan (170 million U.S. dollars) have been earmarked to fund the satellite project.

Sun said the satellite will capture three-dimensional images and analyze the content of the lunar surface. It will also measure the depth of the lunar soil and analyse the space environment between the earth and the moon.

The satellite project is part of the country's ambitious three-stage lunar program. The satellite will be followed by the landing of an unmanned vehicle on the moon in 2010.

Sun described the project as an important step toward China's exploration of deeper space and the moon will provide a good platform from which to explore.

The satellite project is named the Chang'e Program, which is the name of a goddess in an ancient Chinese fairy tale who flew to the moon.


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