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China to launch satellites for lunar surveying

Beijing, China, 6 May 2006 – China will launch high-resolution satellites to conduct surveying and mapping of the moon in upcoming five years, the People’s Daily reported on 6 May. The satellites will probe the moon’s surface, physiognomy, landform and geological structure to draw a three-dimensional map of high precision, the report says.

According to earlier reports, China is expected to launch its first ever moon-orbiting satellite, Chang’e I, by 2007 and Chinese scientists are testing research facilities to board the satellite. After long-standing preparation, Chinese decision-makers gave a green-light to a moon exploration plan in 2004. The plan is targeted at surveying and analyzing usable elements on the moon as well as the space environment between the earth and the moon.