March 2, 2009

China Ends Lunar Probe Mission

On Sunday, China ended a 16-month lunar mission by intentionally crashing its probe into the moon.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the Chang'e 1 lunar satellite collided with the moon mid-afternoon Beijing time.

The Chang'e 1, which is named for the moon goddess, was under remote control by two observation stations in east China's Qingdao and Kashgar, a small city in northwest China.

The lunar probe surveyed the surface of the moon using stereo radar.

Originally launched in October 2007, the Chang'e 1 satellite was the first step in a plan to put a vehicle on the moon by 2012. 

China will soon send the Chang'e 2 satellite before sending a moon-lander.

In 2003, China staged its first manned mission, making it the third country, after the United States and Russia, to do so.

Last autumn, the nation performed its first space walk, captivating the nation.

According to Beijing officials, China plans to land a man on the moon in the near future, and has plans to build a permanent space station.


Image Caption: The launch of Chang'e 1 at Xichang Satellite Launch Center.


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