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China Space Update

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
March 2, 2009

China’s lunar probe Chang’e-1 impacts moon, Xinhua
“Chang’e-1, China’s first lunar probe, impacted the moon at 4:13 p.m. Beijing Time (0813 GMT) Sunday, said sources with the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. The satellite ended its 16-month mission Sunday when it hit the lunar surface at 1.50 degrees south latitude and 52.36 degrees east longitude.”

Unmanned space module to be launched in 2010, await space docking, Xinhua
“China plans to launch an unmanned space module into orbit as early as the end of 2010. It is expected to meet with another unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou-8, which is scheduled to be launched in early 2011. It would be the country’s first space docking. A spokesman with China’s space program said Saturday that scientists on the ground would control the space docking between the orbiter and the unmanned spaceship. The module, named Tiangong-1, is designed to provide a “safe room” for Chinese astronauts to live and conduct scientific research in zero gravity. Weighing about 8.5 tonnes, Tiangong-1 is able to perform long-term unattended operation, which will be an essential step toward building a space station.”
Editor’s note: Just when I thought I could stay home and enjoy the snow CNN called and I have to shoot an interview on China’s space program. Should air tonight.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.