China to send orbiter to moon and back


BEIJING: China will launch its first recoverable moon orbiter later this year, the government announced Sunday,in the latest step in its ambitious space programme.

The mission will be launched before the end of the year and will travel to the moon before returning to earth, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND) said in a statement on Sunday.

Doing so will require withstanding the high temperatures that develop when a probe re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere.The orbiter will test technology that will be be used for China’s ambitious Chang’e-5 mission, which aims to gather samples from the moon’s surface, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The moon orbiter has been transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern province of Sichuan, SASTIND said.

Source: APP

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