China is expected to launch its first ever lunar probe satellite in 2007, given that the country's moon exploration project has so far been proceeding smoothly, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC).
Addressing a forum on space technology held here Tuesday, Ye Peijian, chief designer of the satellite with the CASTC, said that Dubbed "Chang'e-I", China's first lunar orbiter is scheduled to be launched in 2007 for the country's first fly-by mission.
"The design of various plans which serve to meet different situations and simulation satellites has finished and all related professional experiments are going on," said Ye.
The research and development work of real-use satellites will begin in September, he said, noting that one to two real-use ones will be developed.
"After the lunar flight, China will carry out soft landing exploration and auto inspection missions on the moon, with the core part being the realization of landing probes on the moon surface and carrying out scientific exploration," he said.
"A basic space flight engineering system, including that for moon soft landing probes and moon surface inspectors, should then be established," he said.
According to Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of the moon probe project, China will carry out various projects on the materials, dynamics, radiation, astronomic and other fields.
So far, China has developed some demonstration probes for the coming moon flight, which is armed with various apparatuses like a moon-probing radar and infrared spectrum equipment.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
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