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China may bump satellite into moon

August 09, 2007 13:33 IST

China's first circumlunar exploration satellite, Chang'e I, may end its one-year mission by bumping into the moon, chief scientist of the moon probe programme has said.

After using up fuel, Chang'e I will fall onto the moon.

While there are several disposal plans, the generally accepted one is to have it bump into the moon purposefully, the chief scientist, Ouyang Ziyuan said at a meeting in southwest China's Guizhou province.

"We may get some results from the bumping, whether they are big or small," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

He said China's moon exploration programme is divided into three phases -- "circling the moon", "landing on the moon" and "back to earth".

Named "Chang'e" after the legendary Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, the lunar programme aims to eventually place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010. Chang'e I will obtain 3D images of the moon's surface.

He said thirty Chinese songs will be played on the satellite.

"It will take about half a month before Chang'e I enters its work orbit," Ouyang said, "playing the songs would be helpful for tracking conditions of the satellite."

In January, China successfully tested an anti-satellite ballistic missile. China is also the third country in the world to have a successful manned space mission.

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