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China plans to launch second lunar probe in October

China plans to launch the Chang’e-2, the country’s second lunar probe, in October this year, an expert said Thursday.

The satellite would be launched on a Long March 3-C carrier rocket, said Liang Xiaohong, Party chief of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Liang’s remarks came just one day after Qi Faren, former chief designer of China’s Shenzhou spaceships, said the country would launch an unmanned space module, Tiangong-1, in 2011.

Tiangong-1 is expected to accomplish the country’s first space docking and is regarded as an essential step toward building a space station.

A spokesman of China’s space program said in February last year that the country had planned to launch the unmanned module into orbit as early as the end of 2010.

Qi said the delay was due to technical reasons.

Source:Xinhua

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