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China's Lunar Lander: Science for NASA?

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China's Lunar Lander May Provide Additional Science for NASA Spacecraft

After sending 12 humans to the moon's surface during the Apollo Program, NASA remains committed to lunar science. Building on modern missions such as Clementine and Lunar Prospector and recent missions like LCROSS and GRAIL, NASA science has helped to map the moon, determine the presence of water ice, and understand our satellite's irregular gravity field. NASA's current missions to the moon are helping the agency understand our solar system better, informing future exploration efforts to other planetary bodies, and bringing us closer to the technologies we'll need to explore future destinations like an asteroid and Mars.

Scientists using four NASA spacecraft currently studying our lunar neighbor may get an opportunity to gather new data from the expected December 14 landing of the Chang'e 3 lunar rover. U.S. and international researchers view the pending arrival as a new scientific opportunity that could potentially enhance studies and observations of the lunar atmosphere.

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