[meteorite-list] China Plans to Launch Chang'e 5 in 2017
From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2013 12:55:34 -0800 (PST)
China plans to launch Chang'e 5 in 2017
December 16, 2013
Beijing: China plans to launch lunar probe Chang'e 5 in 2017, the State
Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence
announced on Monday.
"The development of Chang'e 5 is proceeding smoothly," the administration's
spokesman Wu Zhijian said at a press conference here.
The just-concluded Chang'e 3 mission marked completion of the second phase
of the country's lunar programme, which includes orbiting, landing, and
returning to Earth, reports Xinhua.
The lunar programme will enter the next stage of unmanned sampling and
returning, which will include Chang'e 5 and 6 missions, said Wu.
"The programme's third phase will be more difficult because many breakthroughs
must be made in key technologies such as moon surface takeoff, sampling
encapsulation, rendezvous, and docking in lunar orbit, and high-speed
Earth re-entry, which are all new to China," Wu added.
As the back-up probe of the Chang'e 3, Chang'e 4 will be adapted to verify
technologies for Chang'e 5, according to Wu.
China's Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 missions were launched in 2007 and 2010,
Chang'e 2, launched Oct 1, 2010, is now about 65 million km from Earth
and is conducting a long-term mission to verify China's deep-space tracking
and control systems.
Received on Fri 20 Dec 2013 03:55:34 PM PST