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China to launch moon mission by end of year

Posted on Friday, 30 August, 2013 | Comment icon 37 comments

India's Chang'e-2 spacecraft. Image Credit: Wikipedia
China is stepping up its space program with plans to launch a lunar probe before the year is out.
The mission will represent the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another world and will be the second phase of their lunar program. The probe, known as Chang'e-3, is scheduled to launch later this year from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China.

"Chang'e-3 has officially entered its launch stage, following its research and manufacture period," the space agency said in a statement. Tests of the carrier rocket and launch systems have already been successfully carried out.

"The Chang'e-3 mission makes best use of a plethora of innovative technology," said lunar program chief commander Ma Xingrui. "It is an extremely difficult mission, that carries great risk."

Source: Xinhua | Comments (37)

Tags: China, Moon, Lunar

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #28 Posted by Frank Merton on 3 September, 2013, 1:45
I think having trained people on site will achieve things robots will not be anywhere near ready to do for quite awhile. They can make quick decisions what to investigate based on what they see and are far more likely therefore to find things. The trouble, as has been noted, is the expense and the danger.
Comment icon #29 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 3 September, 2013, 1:51
True but remote control is better than ever as is AI
Comment icon #30 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats on 3 September, 2013, 2:24
And the Rovers have a rubbish union.
Comment icon #31 Posted by Hatake Kakashi on 3 September, 2013, 4:20
This honestly makes me wonder.. Obviously the US is a bit preoccupied with Mars - so what about Russia? Or the UK?
Comment icon #32 Posted by cacoseraph on 3 September, 2013, 5:41
Eh, the US has demonstrated the tech we had 40+ years ago could get us to the moon and back. Given the ~basic truth of Moore's law and the critical importance of computing in today's practical astronomy there isn't a huge draw to revisit the moon for the USA. But, the requirements between a moon trip (like... a bit more than 400,000 miles round trip) and a Mars trip (33,000,000 minimum and 248,000,000 maximum miles ONE WAY) is around two to four orders of magnitude greater. So a manned tripped to Mars actually matches up pretty nicely with Moore's law and general scientif... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 3 September, 2013, 5:56
I'm still not sure about the purpose of a manned Mars mission other than maybe to prove this can be done. And what is this I keep hearing about colonists being recruited for a one way trip? Surely this can't be true? Would there not be some usefulness for a permanent base on the moon?
Comment icon #34 Posted by cacoseraph on 3 September, 2013, 6:15
I had assumed what I heard about a manned mission to Mars was PR nonsense and I am still not convinced otherwise... Check out . If what that says is true, then this project has gained, just from application fees, $1.5-3.8M. Clearly not enough to get a dude to Mars but also clearly enough to be a sweet, sweet scam. Too early say either way, but there you go
Comment icon #35 Posted by spacecowboy342 on 3 September, 2013, 6:33
Yeah that was my first thought was scam. I mean we haven't even sent any manned mission that far and they are talking like they are going to establish a permanent colony within 10 years? I just can't see it hapening
Comment icon #36 Posted by cacoseraph on 3 September, 2013, 6:57
I could see trying, but not doing. Real life space horror, anyone?
Comment icon #37 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 3 September, 2013, 6:58
Before we go too far down that road let's remember that this topic is about the Chinese mission to the moon. There are already several topics about Mars One. The discussion about robotic vs manned exploration seems to be inferring that it is an either/or situation. In fact they are complementary. NASA conducted robotic exploration of the moon as a precursor to Apollo. The Soviet Union ran it's robotic lunar exploration programme in parallel to its (ultimately unsuccessful) manned lunar programme. If China does have ambitions to land a man on the moon (and that is by no means certain)... [More]

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