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China jump-starts lunar project of US$170m
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-02-16 08:01

Getting ready to send a satellite to orbit the moon by 2007, China jump-started its lunar programme with an injection of 1.4 billion yuan (US$170 million), a senior programme official said over the weekend in Beijing.

Sun Laiyan, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said the satellite programme, part of the country's three-stage lunar project, would be followed by the landing of an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010.

The third and last stage would involve collecting samples of lunar soil with an unmanned vehicle by 2020.

The last two stages are still under review by scientists before official approval, Sun told the press.

The planned satellite would obtain three-dimensional images of the lunar surface and the space environment between the Earth and the Moon, the official said.

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