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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.

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 :)


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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