According to Beijing Morning Post, Chang’e 3(named after Chinese goddess of the moon) will launch in 2013 on an ambitious robotic mission to the moon. The soft landing made by a lunar landing craft will include a robotic rover. The rover includes a nuclear battery with an expected 30 years operation.
Chang’e 2 launched in 2010 and was a successful lunar orbiting mission testing many of the technologies for future flights.
The new missions lunar rover was designed by Shanghai Aerospace System Engineering Institute and is designed to send video in real time.
The lander will include the moon’s first astronomical observatory including specialty cameras and a telescope.If successful the landing will be the first soft landing since the Soviet’s in 1976.
Of course this mission as in all Chinese moon missions will be testing technologies that could lead to a future manned landing.
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