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Launching Chang'e-1 in 2007 not a problem

Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist with China's moon probe project and academician with Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said recently that China's "Chang'e" moon probe project has been going smoothly, with five systems of carrier rocket, probe, digital control equipment, launching site as well as ground operation meeting the initial requirements and various technical indexes defined. It is estimated that there will be no problems to launch Chang'e-1 in 2007.

Ouyang noted that China's moon probe project has undergone longtime preparation and ten-year-long demonstration. Prior to the approval of "Chang'e" project in January 2004, many institutions have poured in large investment in doing pre-researches. For such a huge systematic project, scientists first divided it into five sub-systems for design. When initial plan passed discussion and sample based on theory is manufactured, they will have complex experiments over the samples before manufacturing the "preliminary sample". When various technical indexes meet the standard, they will turn the samples into formal ones, and later have individual test and comprehensive test to make sure no mistakes at all.

The "Chang'e" moon probe project is phased into circling, landing and returning. The main objective of the circling period, which lasts from 2004 to 2007, is to probe the moon for one year; the landing period will start in 2007 and end in 2012, during which soft landing on the moon and the survey on the moon will be accomplished and the returning period, lasting from 2012 to 2017 will fulfill soft landing on and collection of samples from the moon and finally returning to the earth. These three phases are three criteria for China to carry out manned lunar landings.

Currently, China has decided to launch "Chang'e-1" in Xichang Satellite Launch Centre with Long March III A rocket. "Chang'e-1" satellite is developed by Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology and now the test on the preliminary sample satellite has been finished and the development of formal one is now underway. Meanwhile, Long March III A rocket is also put into production. To guarantee the accomplishment of moon probe project, researchers did 41 designs on the rocket carrier to raise its reliability.

People's Daily Online

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