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Report : China To Send Orbiter To Moon And Back Post Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:16 am 
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On Wednesday state media reported that China will launch its latest lunar orbiter in the coming days, in its first attempt to send a spacecraft around the moon and back to Earth.

The spacecraft, not yet named will launch between Friday and Sunday reported China's official Xinhua news agency.

This spacecraft is the first lunar module of China, capable of returning to Earth, which will require withstanding the high temperatures that develop when a probe re-enters the terrestrial atmosphere.

According to China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), China's fourth lunar probe aims to gather samples from the moon's surface and will be launched around 2017, which is intended to test technology to be used in the Chang'e-5.

Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space program helps the nation to mark of its rising global stature and mounting technical expertise. Moreover, it evidences of the ruling Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.

By 2020, the military-run project has plans for a permanent orbiting station and eventually to send a human to the moon.

Currently, China has one moon rover, the Jade Rabbit, on the surface of the moon.


As part of the Chang'e-3 lunar mission late last year, the craft was launched and has been declared a success by Chinese authorities, although it has been beset by mechanical troubles.

As per the last week report of Xinhua, the Jade Rabbit had "entered its 11th dormancy as lunar night falls, with its functions degrading gracefully".

Chinese Business View newspaper said that the latest probe will be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The paper said, "After flying around the moon for about one week, the spacecraft will return to earth, landing somewhere within our country's borders."

"This will mark the first time in the work of the Chang'e series that a craft will have 'returned home' from the moon," it added.

 
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