by Staff Writers
Beijing (IANS) Mar 19, 2012
Preparations are on in China to launch a moon mission and bring about two kilogram of lunar soil samples to Earth, People's Daily reported Friday.
The mission is part of the third phase of the lunar exploration programme.
Engineers are expected to lay the groundwork this year, said Hu Hao, chief designer of the lunar exploration programme's third phase and a deputy to the National People's Congress which ended Wednesday.
The mission will involve a "relay" approach, that will require precision rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, he said.
The mission will see a rocket launched from Earth. A four-module spacecraft will then enter lunar orbit.
Two modules will land on the moon, one will scoop up soil. This will be placed into the ascending module that will blast off from the lunar surface and dock with the orbiting module.
The sample will then be transferred from this module to one that will be jettisoned for Earth re-entry, the daily said.
China requires lunar soil to conduct scientific research.
Source: Indo-Asia News Service
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Two New NASA LRO Videos: See Moon's Evolution, Take a Tour
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Mar 19, 2012
In honor of 1,000 days in orbit, the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Md. has released two new videos. One video takes viewers through the moon's evolutionary history, and reveals how it came to appear the way it does today. Another video gives viewers a guided tour of prominent locations on the moon's surface, compiled by the sp ... read more
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