Chang'e I, China's moon probing project is proceeding in full swing in a well-organized way. China's first moon probing is planned to be launched in three years. Four scientific goals have been set for the first stage of the program, Chang'e I moon orbiting project.
This was disclosed recently by Ou'yang Ziyuan, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and China's chief scientist on moon probing. He also detailed the project as follows.
Verifications have been conducted on China's moon probing program for years. There were additional verifications on the technical scheme in recent two years. Now everything is going on as scheduled.
The first stage of the program, Chang'e I as it is called, will mostly adopt existing mature technologies and there is nothing insurmountable or fundamental problems technically.
However, it takes time to develop all equipment to be installed inside the satellite and to establish systems for orbiting, carrying, monitoring, and ground receiving, as the project aims at the lift-off of a moon probing satellite and making it orbit the moon. It is scheduled that three years is needed before the maiden visit to the moon can be made.
According to the short-term planning, there are three stages for China's moon probing, that is, orbiting, docking, and returning. In the first stage, orbiting, China's first moon exploration satellite will be developed and launched which will conduct a comprehensive, overall, and panoramic observation to capture three-dimensioned graphs of the moon.
Researches for the second stage, docking, include the launch of a docking vehicle for lunar soft landing, soft landing test, inspection around the lunar surface by a lunar rover, on-spot explorations, and moon-based astronomical observations.
For the third stage, returning, in addition to a docking vehicle, a small-sized sampling capsule will be launched which will collect key samples from the moon and return to the earth. "Orbiting" is presently central to China?¯s moon probing program.
There are four scientific goals for this stage of "orbiting".
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