BEIJING, Oct. 1 (UPI) — China’s second lunar probe has entered its Earth-moon transfer orbit to start its five-day trip to an orbit around the moon, Chinese space officials say.
A Long March 3C rocket launched the 2.48-ton Chang’e-2 satellite Friday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest Sichuan province, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported.
Chang’e-2 will be used to test key technologies and will orbit just 10 miles above the moon’s surface to photograph possible landing sites for future missions.
China says it will send a rover on its next mission and has ambitions to put humans on the surface of the moon at some future date, the BBC reported.
The country’s first lunar probe was launched in 2007 and stayed in space for 16 months before being intentionally crashed onto the moon’s surface.
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