Chinese probe in breakthrough outer space travel

Updated: 2013-02-28 19:35


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BEIJING - China's second moon orbiter, Chang'e-2, has arrived in outer space about 20 million km from the Earth, marking a new breakthrough in the nation's efforts for deep space exploration, Chinese scientists said on Thursday.

The probe is now continuing its deep space travel under normal conditions, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

Scientific planning, innovative orbit design, accurate observation and control are the major factors that helped Chang'e-2 save fuel in its flight and guaranteed successful travel in outer space, said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar probe program.

Chang'e-2 was launched on Oct 1, 2010 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center and later orbited the moon to finish a more extensive probe than its predecessor Chang'e-1.

Since its blast-off, Chang'e 2 has scored several records, including being the first to capture a full-coverage map of the moon with a resolution of seven meters and being the first to closely observe the asteroid Toutatis and capture its images with a resolution of 10 meters.

According to the SASTIND, China will launch its third lunar probe, Chang'e-3, in the latter half of the year with the mission of conducting a moon landing.