China to select new site for moon rocket launchNovember 29th, 2010 - 12:02 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, Nov 29 (IANS) China is considering launching rockets from a new site for the next phase of the country’s lunar exploration programme because of transportation problems, the programme’s top scientist has said.
China had launched its second unmanned lunar probe, Chang’e-2, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province Oct 1.
Now, authorities are considering a launch from the Hainan Island province, the Shanghai Daily reported Monday citing the Beijing Times.
Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of the lunar exploration programme, said the site is being considered because the rockets required for future missions will be too large to be transported on land.
“No rocket more than 3.5 meters in diameter can be transported by trains or other vehicles. They can only be carried by ships,” he said.
Ouyang said China is developing a new model of rocket capable of landing heavy facilities on the moon.
China’s first lunar probe, Chang’e-1 launched in October 2007, ended its mission by crashing into the moon after orbiting for 16 months. It acquired a three-dimensional map of the moon’s surface.
China has a three-stage lunar exploration programme - with both Chang’e-2 and Chang’e-3 part of the second stage leading to an unmanned moon landing. The Chang’e-3 will land on the lunar surface and release a moon rover around 2013.
The third stage aims to bring a moon rock sample back to Earth in 2017.
- China to launch second lunar probe 'Chang'e-2' by October - Sep 28, 2010
- China's moon rover to run on nuclear power - Aug 13, 2012
- China unveils snapshots of moon - Nov 09, 2010
- China's second lunar probe blasts off - Oct 01, 2010
- China's 2nd unmanned lunar probe 'Chang'e-2' enters lunar orbit - Oct 06, 2010
- China Launches "Moon Mission" as Nasa Loses Lunar Interest - Oct 02, 2010
- China to go to moon, Mars, Venus and beyond - Sep 20, 2010
- China's second unmanned lunar probe maneuvers to correct trajectory - Oct 03, 2010
- China's lunar probe to photograph Bay of Rainbows - Oct 27, 2010
- China likely to launch second lunar probe on Friday - Sep 30, 2010
- China's 'Chang'e-2' expected to have enough fuel to return to earth - Oct 14, 2010
- China to get lunar soil - Mar 16, 2012
- China to send man on moon by 2030 - May 23, 2009
- China to launch its second lunar probe this year - Apr 13, 2010
- China to take next leap in moon probe in October 2010 - Nov 27, 2009
Tags: beijing, chief scientist, hainan island, island province, launching rockets, lunar exploration, lunar probe, lunar surface, map of the moon, moon rock, moon rocket, moon rover, new model, other vehicles, rocket launch, second stage, shanghai, sichuan province, third stage, transportation problems