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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Nov 2, 2006 6:12:17 GMT -6
Chinese Lunar Orbiter Prototype On Display At Air Show
Zhuhai, China (XNA) Nov 02, 2006 A prototype of China's proposed lunar orbiter went on display at a major air show on Monday. The prototype displayed in a 50-square-meter sand pit at Airshow China 2006 in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province, is a simulation of the surface of the moon and produced by China Aviation Industry Corp.
The orbiter, named "Chang'e 1" after the legendary Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, will be launched at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province in 2007.
The launch will be the first step of China's three-stage moon exploration program. The orbiter will be followed by a remote-controlled lunar rover that will carry out experiments and send data back to Earth. In the third phase, a module will drill a chunk of the moon and bring it to Earth.