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China’s Moon Return and Far Side Lunar Missions on Schedule

March 4, 2017 (EIRNS)—China Daily today interviewed Hu Hao, director of China’s national Lunar Exploration Center, reporting that the nation’s planned missions for sampling and return from the Moon’s surface, and for a world-first landing on the Moon’s far side, remain on schedule for 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Hu said that the Chang’e 5 mission will return two kilograms of rock and soil from the during this year. "The month-long Chang’e 5 mission will be the most sophisticated lunar expedition China has ever made," he said. "It will face a lot of challenges such as the great number of demanding maneuvers and the complicated condition of its landing site." It would complete the third phase of China’s lunar program—preparing for manned landings on the Moon—ahead of schedule.

China Daily also reported,

"Ye Peijian, one of China’s leading space scientists, told Xinhua News Agency on [Feb. 28] that the fourth phase of the country’s lunar exploration program will unfold in 2018 as the Chang’e 4 probe will be launched to carry out the world’s first soft-landing on the far side of the moon. He added that China also plans to explore the two lunar poles in the near future."