Saturday, November 30, 2013

China to launch Chang'e-3 lunar probe early Monday (video cctvnews)

A mission to land the first spacecraft on the moon’s surface in over 40 years is set to begin on Monday. China will send its Chang’e-3 probe at around 1:30am local time, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

It’s the first time China has attempted a soft landing on any extra-terrestrial surface. Scientific data from the moon’s surface will be sent directly back to earth, and a telescope will be installed on the moon.

The Chang’e-3 mission is the second phase of China’s lunar program, which involves the various stages of orbiting, landing and returning to Earth, ahead of a potential manned lunar mission. It follows the success of the Chang’e-1 and Chang’e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010. Preparations for the launch are reported to be going well at the launch center.

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