China to launch Chang'e-2 satellite at the end of 2010

13:07, December 28, 2009      

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China planned to launch the Chang'e-2, the country's second lunar probe, at the end of 2010, the State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense said Monday.

The Chang'e-2 was to test key soft landing technologies for theChang'e-3 and provide high-resolution photo images of the landing area, the administration said.

China has made progress on six key technologies of Chang'e-2, including the lunar capture, orbit control and the research on high-resolution stereo camera, it said.

Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang'e-1, the country's first moon probe, said earlier that China's three-stage moon mission could be defined as "orbiting", "landing" and "returning".

Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 are part of the second phase of the country's lunar exploration program.

The Chang'e-1 lunar probe was launched in October 2007 as the first step of China's three-stage moon mission.

"Chang'e" is named after a legendary Chinese moon goddess.

Source: Xinhua
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