China Launches Second Lunar Probe – More than 2,000 residents will be evacuated in China. They are preparing to launch the nation’s second lunar probe, state-run media said on Wednesday.
The launch is going to be conducted on or around October 01 which is China’s National Day. People living within 2.5 kilometers of the launch pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwest province of Sichuan will be evacuated as a precaution.
The Chang’e -2 lunar probe will test key landing technology for Chang’e-3, and it will provide high-resolution photographs of the landing area. Chang’e-2 is expected to reach lunar orbit within five days.
China had launched its first lunar probe in 2007. Chang’e-1 reached the moon in a controlled crash in March 2009 after a 16-month mission. The series of Chang’e probes has been named after China’s mythical Moon Goddess.
In 2003, China became the third nation, following the United States and Russia, to put a person in orbit, Yang Liwei. Five years later, Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese to make a spacewalk.
In the third phase of China’s lunar exploration program, Chang’e-3 is set to land on the moon in 2013 and it will collect samples and bring them to Earth in 2017.