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China launched their Chang'e II unmanned lunar probe today aboard a Long March 3C rocket.

China is going to the moon

Launch of the Chang'e probe

Launch of the Chang'e probe

China launched their Chang’e II unmanned lunar probe today aboard a Long March 3C rocket. This is the space program’s latest milestone in their push to put a man on the moon in 2017.

This latest mission will use the probe to test technology and photograph possible landing sites in preparation for an unmanned lunar landing planned for 2012. According to the Xinhua News Agency, Chang’e II will circle 62 miles above the moon’s surface before moving into orbit just 9 miles above the lunar surface.

The Chang’e II probe, named after a legendary Chinese moon goddess, is scheduled for a six-month mission. At the end of six months, the probe will either be sent further into space, moved into orbit around Earth, or will land on the moon as a test for the 2012 landing.

About Maureen Elsberry

Maureen Elsberry is the Marketing Director, co-host of Spacing Out!, and Co-organizer of Open Minds Events. She is also a contributing writer for OpenMinds.tv and Open Minds magazine. With a degree in Journalism and Media Production, Maureen has spent over 10 years working in Internet Media, Marketing and Radio. She stars in the show Uncovering Aliens on the Science Channel and has had appearances on Animal Planet and Destination America . Follow Maureen on Twitter: @maureenelsberry or subscribe to her public updates on Facebook here: Maureen OpenMinds

One comment

  1. avatar

    I am sad that the U.S. is going to cancel the Constellation program, though I do feel that the immediate effects of China going to the Moon may prove bad for the Western world, I think that in the long run it will prove beneficial for humanity.

    I also believe that as we near their manned launch (assuming that they go through with it unlike us) then we and Europe will probably ‘find’ the money necessary to fund these missions.

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