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China Announces Chang’e-2 Launch Date and Chang’e-3 Lander Details! November 30, 2009

Posted by Nick Azer in Chang'e, China, lander.
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The China Daily has reported that China’s lunar program has set the launch date for it’s second lunar orbiter—the Chang’e-2—as well as announced more details of it’s Chang’e-3 lunar lander mission:

“[The Chang’e-2] will orbit 100 km closer to the moon and be equipped with better facilities. We expect to acquire more scientific data about the moon with increased accuracy.” -Ye Peijian, chief designer of the Chang’e-1(“China to take next leap with moon probe“, The China Daily)

The upgraded Change-2 (originally designed as simply a backup for the Chang’e-1) will launch in October 2010.

Meanwhile, they also announced the Chang’e-3 lander’s destination: it will touch down “before 2013” in the Sinus Iridum—the ‘Bay of Rainbows’.

The article also notes the Chinese desire to explore resources on the lunar surface—which of course means helium-3.

The selection of the Sinus Iridum is interesting, then—a potential harvesting hotspot? I’ll have more on the location later this week as I get my new weekly selenography series kicked into gear, so check back for that :)

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1. Orbiting Atlas #1!: Sinus Iridum (The Bay of Rainbows) « Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration - December 15, 2009

[…] announced a few weeks ago that the destination for it’s first lunar rover (and mission of any kind on the surface), […]


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