Backgrounder: China's "triple jump" progress in lunar probes
Backgrounder: Timeline of China's lunar program
In pictures: Chang'e-3 soft-lands on moon
BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China plans to launch lunar probe Chang'e 5 in 2017, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
"The development of Chang'e 5 is proceeding smoothly," said the administration's spokesman Wu Zhijian at a press conference on Monday.
The just-concluded Chang'e 3 mission marked completion of the second phase of the country's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.
The lunar program will enter the next stage of unmanned sampling and returning, which will include Chang'e 5 and 6 missions, according to Wu.
"The program's third phase will be more difficult because many breakthroughs must be made in key technologies such as moon surface takeoff, sampling encapsulation, rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and high-speed Earth reentry, which are all new to China," Wu said.
As the backup probe of Chang'e 3, Chang'e 4 will be adapted to verify technologies for Chang'e 5, according to Wu.
China's Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 missions were in 2007 and 2010.
Launched on Oct. 1, 2010, Chang'e 2 is about 65 million km from Earth and is China's first man-made asteroid. It is heading for deep space.
Xi Jinping congratulates Chang'e-3 mission's complete success
BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday night congratulated the success of Chang'e-3 lunar probe that completed the country's first softlanding on lunar surface.
The moon rover Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, and the lander took pictures of each other on Sunday night, a move that marked the complete success of Chang'e 3 mission. Xi, along with Premier Li Keqiang and other senior officials, watched the live broadcast of the move at Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC). Full story
China explores moon for science, technology advancement
BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China expects to gain a scientific understanding of the moon and develop its space technologies through its lunar program, a spokesman said in Beijing on Monday. Full sotry
Deep space monitoring station abroad imperative: Chinese scientist
BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China needs to build a deep space monitoring station abroad because the existing network is not capable of tracking deep space detectors round the clock, a leading scientist said on Monday. Full story
China announces Chang'e-3 mission "complete success"
BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Ma Xingrui, chief commander of China's lunar program, announced on Sunday night Chang'e-3 mission a "complete success", after the lander and moon rover successfully took pictures of each other.Full story
Commentary: Chang'e-3's soft landing marks China's hard success
BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The moon Saturday saw a rare new visitor -- lunar probe Chang'e-3 from China, the third country on earth which achieved a soft landing on it after theUnited Statesand the former Soviet Union.Full story
China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe amazes world
BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's Chang'e-3, which includes its first lunar rover named Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, has successfully soft landed on the Moon Saturday, fulfilling the long-awaited dream of moon landing of the Chinese nation.Full story
Lunar mission: craft to conduct re-entry tests before 2015
BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhuanet) -- An experimental spacecraft will be launched before 2015 to conduct crucial re-entry tests on the capsule to be used in the Chang'e-5 lunar-sample mission, a leading space program official said.Full story
Chinese probe reaches record height in space travel
BEIJING, July 14 (Xinhua) -- China's space probe Chang'e-2 has flew to an outer space about 50 million km from the Earth, marking a new height in the nation's deep space exploration, Chinese scientists said on Sunday.Fullstory
Lunar probe, space exploration is China's duty to mankind
BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- A chief designer with China's second lunar probe project has said that the country's lunar pursuit, while lagging behindRussiaand the United States for more than 40 years, is still important because space exploration is part of the country's responsibility towards mankind.Full story
China calls for int'l cooperation in manned space program
BEIJING, June 26 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese astronaut research and training official Wednesday called for international cooperation to promote the development of manned space technologies.Full story