Home>News Center>China

China to launch 1st moon probe in 2 years
By Qin Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-12 01:45

China will launch its first lunar satellite in two years' time, the Beijing Morning Post has reported.

Dubbed the `Chang'e Project' after a Chinese fairy who flies to the moon, the first lunar orbiter will itself be called `Chang'e-I.'

All preparations are in full swing, vice-chief designer of the project Long Lehao said.

The announcement was made at the same time as reports began coming in about the ongoing success of the Double Star Programme test.

The Double Star mission, the first Sino-European project involving probe satellites, involves two probes, the TC-1 and TC-2, which fly in complementary orbits around the Earth.

All equipment is functioning well, says Sun Laiyan, director of the China National Space Administration.

TC-2 was launched from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in North China's Shanxi Province on July 25.

It will be tested until the end of September, he said.

The Double-Star and the Chang'e missions are China's latest moves into outer space.

The Double-Star mission will look at the causes of space storms and how safety in space travel can be improved.

The two satellites will operate alongside four others from the Cluster II project, a European venture which started in 2000 to study how solar winds affect the Earth.

Some information has already been collected and will be studied together with data from the TC-2, Sun said.

The Chang'e probe will involve landing an unmanned vehicle on the moon and scooping up moon dust to analyse later on Earth.

The fly-by, landing and return phases are expected to be completed within 20 years.

Sun said China will continue to co-operate with other countries in space science and exploration.

At the end of the year, officials from the European Space Agency are expected in China for further talks on space technology.

The Double-Star Programme has laid the foundation for future co-operation between China and Europe, he added.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Trading surplus up for third month



Proposal for Taiwan's UN entry condemned



US officer indicted for beating Chinese woman



China to launch 1st moon probe in 2 years



Efficient coal usage urged to ease shortage



Olympics: Women's soccer suffers blow


  Efficient coal usage urged to ease shortage
  Quake kills 3, injures some 600 in Yunnan
  China to launch 1st moon probe in 2 years
  Trading surplus up for third month
  Yellow alert issued to Beijingers in power shortage
  Incentives offered to families with girls
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Chinese first moon mission expected unmanned
Lunar satellite to be launched in 2007
Long March III A chosen for lunar mission
Moon fly-by to soar by 2007
China jump-starts lunar project of US$170m
  News Talk  
  When will china have direct elections?