China to send orbiter to moon and back
Beijing (AFP) - China will launch its firstrecoverable moon orbiter later this year, the government announced, in thelatest step in its ambitious space programme.
The mission will be launched before the endof the year and will travel to the moon before returning to earth, the StateAdministration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence(SASTIND) said in a statement on Sunday.
Doing so will require withstanding the hightemperatures that develop when a probe re-enters the Earth's atmosphere.
The orbiter will test technology that willbe be used for China's ambitious Chang'e-5 mission, which aims to gathersamples from the moon's surface, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar spaceprogramme as a marker of its rising global stature and mounting technicalexpertise, as well as evidence of the ruling Communist Party's success inturning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.
The moon orbiter has been transported tothe Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan,SASTIND said.
In Chinese mythology, Chang'e is thegoddess of the moon who lives in a palace with her pet Yutu, or jade rabbit.The country's moon rover, launched as part of the Chang'e-3 lunar mission latelast year, was named after the pet.
China had declared that mission a"complete success", but mechanical problems have plagued Yutu andreports in May said the rover was gradually becoming "weakened".
The Chang'e-5 mission will be moresophisticated and technological challenges include taking off from the moon'ssurface, rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and high-speed Earth re-entry,Xinhua said.
The military-run project has plans for apermanent orbiting station by 2020 and eventually to send a human to the moon.
A chief scientist told state media in 2012that China planned to collect samples from the surface of Mars by 2030.
sam 8 minutes ago 0 0 So many jealous losers, from littleVietnam, Philippines, Japan, are so funny to bark at China.
Scott 1 minute ago 0 0 Don't be surprised if this isn'tpreparation for a human-landing; that is, testing of the capsule andheat-shield. I suspect they might try a landing toward the end of the decade,perhaps the early part of the 2020s.
Jim 3 hours ago 1 2 Technology is amazing.
Building homes on Mars next ?
THE GREAT GW 4 hours ago 2 5 They should send their robot over to seethe American Flag that was planted by American Men.
ALAN 7 hours ago 3 14 Maybe they will bring back some photos ofthe American flag that is still flying there.
Jim 3 hours ago 3 4 Our President really doesn't care aboutspace programs.
Bill Clinton or Bush didn't care much neither.
With all these illegal aliens we have now, this country is dead broke.
No money for science & technology any more, not even for our own homelesskids.
Howdy 3 hours ago 4 5 And we are shutting down NASA and sendingplanes to Iraq. So ironic. 而我们则关闭了NASA
Sam 5 hours ago 5 8 Chinese technology can't get cars or motorcyclesright but they're going to successfully send an orbiter there and back. OKthen.
larry venable 4 hours ago 6 5 the Chinese are better than these commentsgive credit for, they're going to bury our economy when the yuan becomes theworld reserve currency - that thanks to Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen - andtheir running dog boss BHO...
Howard 16 hours ago 18 11 I talked to NASA folks, they admit that theUS is not able to do this. Experts have revealed that US had the technology toput a man on the moon but that is it, China can certainly do it but that is nottheir intention which is far bigger than just putting a man on the moon, theyuse robots to explore the possibility to colonize the moon. I talked to aChinese general last year. He said China wants to build a huge solar powerstation on the moon and get resources (minerals) back.
Snailmailtrucker 5 hours ago 7 5 Better hope they don't need to use any oftheir technology more than once... everything I ever bought that was Made inChina never worked the second time I needed to use it !
THE GREAT GW 4 hours ago 7 5 China finally got a rover on the moon.America has one on Mars. Shows how far ahead America is.
Charles 9 hours ago 14 16 China has almost caught up to 1960'sAmerica.
Romeo 8 hours ago 14 7 Hope China doesn't declare the moon itssatellite territory in honor of goddess Chang and its rabbit Yutu!
Brian L 9 hours ago 14 4 They will claim the Moon is theirs sincethey were the first people on Earth landed on the Moon according to fairytales...
Tom 16 hours ago 8 7 let's see they put a man on the moon. TheU.S. did that using 1960s technology, so how hard can it be?
Protaganist 27 minutes ago 0 2 Check out all the cry babies China basheron here. LOL..bunch of sour grapes, didn't you know China invented the rocket?