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Participants in China's lunar probe program sign agreement to manage satellite
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08:38, December 18, 2007

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· China's Lunar Exploration Program
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Participants in China's lunar probe program signed a management agreement on Monday to define their division of work to ensure smooth operation of the Chang'e-1satellite in the coming year.

The head office of the lunar probe program will coordinate the functions of all the participants and approve major positioning adjustments and important experiments for the satellite, according to the agreement.

The control system is responsible for remote control, sensing and monitoring, the ground application system will draw up plans for experiments and receive and process data, while the satellite system will provide technical support and assist in monitoring.

The agreement was signed between the moon exploration center under the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, Beijing Aerospace Control Center, the fifth research institute affiliated to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. and National Astronomical Observatories.

An unnamed spokesman with the moon exploration center said that China would bring all scientific resources available into full play to attain "internationally influential" achievements in its research of the data sent back by the probe.

Chang'e-1, named after a mythical Chinese goddess who, according to legend, flew to the moon, blasted off on a Long March3A carrier rocket on Oct. 24 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The satellite traveled nearly two million kilometers in its 15-day flight to the moon and reached its final working orbit with a fixed altitude of 200 kilometers on Nov. 7.

The China National Space Administration released the first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1 on Nov. 26, marking the full success of the first stage of the country's lunar probe program.


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