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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

China's Chang´e Lunar Program May Change

With China Chang´e-2 lunar spacecraft in a launch campaign for October 2010; it is seeking to duplicate previous success and pave the way to an evolving Moon exploration program with two landers and two sample returns vehicles sooner this decade.

Morris Jones, writing from Australia in Moon Daily, indicates there is reason to believe, China may equip the Chang´e-3 and Chang´e-4 lunar vehicles each with two surface lunar rovers and two sample-return boosters, suggesting a more rapid leap in lunar exploration technologies.

Chinese media statements have previously suggested that there would be one of each type of lander, with the rover mission scheduled for around 2013 and the sample-return mission for around 2017. A final decision will probably be made by the Chinese based upon the success rate of the Chang´e-2 lunar orbiter.

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