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China to finish unmanned lunar mission by 2017  



2012-09-20 13:39     Web Editor: Zang Kejia comment

Tianjin (CNS) -- China will complete its unmanned lunar exploration mission in 2017, Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist for the country's lunar exploration program, said on Wednesday.

The program is divided into three main operational phases: unmanned lunar exploration, manned lunar exploration and creating a moon base where humans can stay temporarily, said Ouyang.

When questioned about the manned mission, Ouyang had no timetable.

China has already launched two lunar orbiters, the Chang'e 1 in 2007 and the Chang'e 2 in 2010. We will launch the Chang'e 3 for a soft landing on the moon in 2013, and a lunar sample mission will be undertaken in 2017, he added.

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