China in­vites other na­tions to join moon ex­plo­ration

Fiji Sun - - China News -

Bei­jing: In 1969, when Neil Armstrong be­came the first hu­man to walk on the moon, the as­tro­nom­i­cal body was just the thing aloof on which Chi­nese peo­ple gazed and mused.

Fifty years later, China be­came the first ever to land a ro­botic space­craft on the lu­nar far side.

As the world cel­e­brates the historic moon land­ing on July 20 half a cen­tury ago, Chi­nese lu­nar ex­plor­ers said China’s Moon ex­plo­ration pro­gram, which in­cludes a ro­botic lu­nar re­search sta­tion pro­to­type by 2030 to pre­pare for manned mis­sions, is open to in­ter­na­tional co-oper­a­tion.

With more lu­nar sci­en­tific ex­plo­ration and ver­i­fy­ing tech­nol­ogy, the lu­nar re­search sta­tion will be­come a base for as­tro­nauts to visit briefly, and ul­ti­mately for their long-term stay, Li Chun­lai, di­rec­tor of the Ground Re­search and Ap­pli­ca­tion Sys­tem of the Chi­nese Lu­nar Ex­plo­ration Pro­ject, and three of his col­leagues, wrote on Fri­day.

“In­ter­na­tional co-oper­a­tion is an im­por­tant el­e­ment in China’s strat­egy of lu­nar and deep space ex­plo­ration,” they said in an ar­ti­cle pub­lished on the spe­cial is­sue of the US jour­nal Science to mark the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon land­ing.

This NASA file image, dated July 20, 1969, shows one of the first foot­prints of Apollo 11 as­tro­naut Ed­win Buzz Aldrin on the moon.

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