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China to launch 3rd lunar probe in 2013

Updated: 2012-07-31 10:19
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China will launch its third lunar probe, Chang'e-3, in the second half of 2013, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

The launch of the Chang'e-3, named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, is part of the second step of China's three-phrase lunar probe project of orbiting, landing and returning.

China launched the Chang'e-1 in 2007 and the Chang'e-2 in 2010. The first probe retrieved a great deal of scientific data and a complete map of the moon while the second one created a full higher-resolution map of the moon and a high-definition image of Sinus Iridium.

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