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December 29, 2009

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Date set for launch of lunar probe

CHINA plans 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 yesterday.

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

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

Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang'e-1, the country's first moon probe, said 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 lunar program.

The Chang'e-1 probe was launched in October 2007.

Chang'e is the Chinese goddess of the moon.


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