Something as unimaginable as setting foot on the moon during the olden days, has been achieved. The next in line for this feat is rumored to be China. The country launched an experimental craft on Friday to orbit the moon and return back. This was done to prepare for their first unmanned trip to the moon.
China has been planning a mission to go to the moon to collect samples and return due 2017. To prepare and analyze the possibilities, they are running an eight day test program. This will rank China as the third country to do so after the USA and Russia.
This particular spacecraft launched from the Xichang Satellite launch centre in the morning. Shortly after launch, it entered the Earth orbit. The country’s moon exploration mission named Chang’e was reported to have already launched a couple of lunar probes the year before and landed a rover included craft on the moon. None of the above mentioned missions were programmed to return. Hence, this will be the first of its kind for China.
China became the third country to independently send a man to space in the year 2003. Though the USA is about 60 years ahead in this field, China is also fast developing. Apart from the manned mission already scheduled, they are developing the Long March 5 heavy lifter rocket in order to launch Tiangogn 2, a somewhat permanent space station.