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.
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