by Staff Writers
Beijing (UPI) Mar 4, 2009
China Thursday announced plans for its second lunar probe in October ahead of its launch of an unmanned space module set for next year.
The Chang'e-2 lunar probe in October would be launched on a Long March 3-C carrier rocket, said Liang Xiaohong, party chief of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Liang's announcement came a day after Qi Faren, former chief designer of China's Shenzhou spaceships, announced plans for the launch of the Tiangong-I unmanned space module next year.
Tiangong-1 is designed for the country's first space docking and is seen as an essential step toward building a space station, Xinhua said.
A spokesman for the Chinese space program had said a year ago the unmanned module launch would be launched this year but the report blamed the delay until next year on technical reasons but gave no details.
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
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