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China Launches Second Phase of Moon Probing System

Ye Peijian, an acadamic at CAS (Chinese Academy of Science) told the Chinese press that the second phase of China’s moon probing mission had begun. After launching its first lunar probe, named “Chang’e 1,” last year to “orbit” the moon, the second phase planned is a soft landing on the moon’s surface along with an “inspection using probing robots and probing devices," abbreviated as “landing”. According to Ye, the “landing” phase is scheduled to be completed by 2013. Experiments with the use of moonbuggies have also been conducted. The third phase will be a mission to carry out a soft landing on the moon’s surface and then return  the moonbuggy with collected lunar samples, abbreviated as “return”. Ye also anticipates that China will be capable of realizing a manned moon flight between 2020 and 2025.

Source: Xinhua, March 6, 2008