Feeds

China will head for the moon this year

Space racing begins in earnest

High performance access to file storage

China's National Space Administration (NSA) is planning to send a probe to the moon later this year, according to reports.

The state-controlled Xinhau news agency reports that Sun Laiyan, director of the NSA, was speaking at Beijing Jiaotong University. He said: "The moon probe project is the third milestone in China's space technology after satellite and manned spacecraft projects, and a first step for us in exploring deep space."

China says its space programme will advance in three stages: the first is "circling the moon", the second; "landing on the moon", and the third "returning to Earth". For the sake of the astronauts, we hope there is not too much of a gap between stages two and three*.

Mission planners say the lander mission, with a moon rover, is slated for 2012. Meanwhile, manned missions will also continue. China says the next step will be to try spacewalking and docking two orbiting vehicles.

Sun obliquely acknowledged international concern over China flexing its spacefaring muscles. He said: "Space technology reflects a nation's overall power and is an important facet of the modernisation of national defence. If China had no atomic bombs or hydrogen bombs and had not launched its first satellite since the 1960s, China could not be called an influential country and would not enjoy the same international status."

The space agency chief also said China will launch a network of more than 30 satellites to establish its own navigation and positioning system, as well as 12 North Dipper satellites, which will sit in geostationary orbits, according to a Reuters report. ®

*We are joking. We know it is a sample return mission, not an astronaut-return flight. Now, g'way.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.