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China's orbiter survives lunar eclipse

China's solar-powered lunar probe satellite Chang'e-2 has successfully stood the test of a lunar eclipse and hours of flying in complete darkness.
The orbiter, launched October 1, flew out of the shadow at 17.57 (0957 GMT) Tuesday, Zhou Jianliang, deputy chief engineer at the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre (BACC), said Wednesday.

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China on Monday unveiled photos taken by its second lunar probe of the moon's surface, marking the success of the mission.

"The relaying back of the pictures shows that the Chang'e-2 mission is a success" - Zhang Jiahao, director of the lunar exploration centre under the China National Space Administration, said.

Unveiled by Premier Wen Jiabao, the photos highlighted part of the moon's Sinus Iridium, or Bay of Rainbows, the area proposed for China's first unmanned soft-landing around 2013.
One of the pictures, taken on Oct 28 from 18.7 kilometres above the lunar surface, shows an 8-km-wide, 15.9-km-long area of the Bay of Rainbows.

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China's second unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e-2, is expected to have enough fuel to fly back to earth, Beijing Aerospace Control Centre (BACC) Vice Chief-Designer has said.
Zhou Jianliang said that Chang'e-2 was carried into lunar orbit by a rocket which was only corrected once during the transfer from earth orbit to lunar orbit, so a large amount of fuel will be left after its mission. He said that there are three possible "fates" for Chang'e-2 after it finishes its six-month mission: landing on the moon, flying to outer space or returning to earth, Xinhua news agency reports.

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China to launch its second lunar probe this year

China will launch its second lunar exploration mission this year to test key landing technologies as well as take high-resolution images of the landing area, China Daily reported Tuesday.
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The "Lunar Probe Project" won a special award at the National Science and Technology Awards held during the China National Science and Technology Meeting January 11. Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's Lunar Probe Project disclosed during an interview that the resolution of the cameras mounted on the Chang'e-2 Satellite which has been scheduled to be launched this year will reach 7 metres, and even 1 metre when the satellite is closer to the moon.
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China planned to launch the Chang'e-2, the country's second lunar probe, at the end of 2010, the State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for National Defence said Monday.
The Chang'e-2 was to test key soft landing technologies for theChang'e-3 and provide high-resolution photo images of the landing area, the administration said.

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China's second lunar probe, Chang'e-2, will be launched in October 2010, a top space scientist said Thursday.
Ye Peijian, chief designer of the nation's first moon probe, told the third International Conference on Space Information Technology in Beijing yesterday that the country's lunar lander and rover, Chang'e-3, is also well on the way toward liftoff -- the project is in the prototype stage and its launch is set for before 2013.

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