Chinese scientists have pledged to seize time to start the plan and implementation for the second-phase of China's lunar probe program at a red-carpet ceremony opened on Wednesday morning to mark the country's initial success in deep space exploration.
Zhang Qingwei, Minister in charge of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said the immediate tasks facing Chinese scientists and technicians were to secure the proper operation of Chang'e-1, the country's first lunar probe, on its final working orbit, data transmission and process, scientific analysis and application of lunar data.
"We will make full use of our research and development resources and the first-hand lunar exploration data so as to bring out the first-class fruits in scientific and technical innovation," he said.
Ye Peijian, chief commander and designer in charge of the satellite system, said Chinese scientists had long been aiming at the technical forefront in the world's deep space explorations and grasped a slew of core technologies in orbit design, control and guide of the probe, long-distance communication and satellite thermal control.
"The Chinese have gained their own leverage in pushing ahead with deep space exploration," he said.
He advocated the "zero-defect" working concept and precise and prudent work style prevalent among scientists and technicians whose average age was less than 35 years old.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) 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.
The launch of Chang'e-1 kicks off the first step of China's three-stage moon mission, which will lead to a moon landing and launch of a moon rover at around 2012. In the third phase, another rover will land on the moon and return to earth with lunar soil and stone samples for scientific research at around 2017.