China to launch lunar probe by 2010 end

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New Delhi, June 1 (ANI): Chinese space scientists have said that the second step of China's lunar probe project, Chang'e-2, will be launched by the end of 2010.

The next step is being considered after the 18-month-long exploration success of the Chang'e-1 between October 2007 and March 2010.

According to a China Daily report, Chinese scientists will study the data collected for a year and then release their findings to the world.

The second phase of the project, which is composed of Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3, will include "orbiting, landing and returning."

The design and production of the probe is completed, and the lunar obiter is undergoing ground tests.

Though Chang'e-2 is the backup to Chang'e-1, it has gone through technical upgrades for its new mission. Chang'e-2 is undergoing "match-up and drills" and everything has gone well.

Tests will be carried out during Chang'e-2's mission to prepare for the lunar landing.

Chinese space experts say Chang'e-3, China's first lunar landing, is scheduled to be launched before 2013.

The third phase will see China send a spacecraft to the moon to collect samples and return.

That project is slated for before 2017.

Experts say only after all these steps are successfully accomplished, will it be possible to carry out a manned moon landing, which is expected to be achieved between 2025 and 2030. (ANI)

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