Fifth lunar probe scheduled for 2017
China is set to launch the unmanned Chang’e-5, its fifth lunar probe, in South China’s Hainan province in 2017, a top Chinese space scientist and a national political adviser told Xinhua.
It is the first Chinese lunar probe that will collect lunar samples and return to Earth. The research into the launch is going as planned, said Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang’e-1, China’s first moon probe, and chief commander of the Chang’e-2 and Chang’e-3 missions.
China’s lunar exploration program, named after the mythological moon goddess Chang’e, is divided into three stages: orbiting, landing and return. (Photo 4)