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Chang'e 4 lunar mission team awarded gold medal

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2019-11-26 14:29
Members of China's Chang'e 4 mission team pose for a group photo with guests at the award ceremony of Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) in London, Britain, on Nov 25, 2019. China's Chang'e-4 mission team on Monday received the only Team Gold Medal of the year awarded by Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) of the United Kingdom at its annual award ceremony held in London. [Photo/Xinhua]

Chinese scientists and engineers involved in the Chang'e 4 lunar exploration mission received the Royal Aeronautical Society's Team Gold Medal at a ceremony in London on Monday, the China National Space Administration said.

It is the first time the British institution, founded in 1866 and the oldest aerospace society in the world, has conferred a medal on a Chinese space program, the administration said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's Chang'e lunar programs and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and representatives from the Chang'e 4 mission team took part in the award ceremony.

Wu thanked the society for the medal and said China looked forward to more exchanges and cooperation with the international space community, the statement said.

The Chang'e 4 robotic probe, which consists of a stationary lander and the Yutu 2 rover, was launched atop a Long March 3B rocket in early December from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, becoming the country's fourth lunar exploration mission and the world's first expedition to the moon's far side, which never faces the Earth.

The probe made a soft landing on Jan 3 and then released Yutu 2 to roam and survey the landing site in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the largest and deepest basin discovered in the solar system.

The lander and rover are now in their 12th lunar-day working session, with Yutu 2 having traveled nearly 320 meters.

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