China to launch lunar space probe before year's end

China to launch lunar space probe before year's endChina announced plans on Tuesday to launch a space probe to bring back samples from the moon before the end of the year, in what state media cast as competition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s ambitions to revitalise U.S. space exploration. The Chang’e-5 lunar probe is undergoing a final round of tests and is expected to be on standby for launch from August, the official People’s Daily said, citing the China National Space Administration. The launch will involve new challenges for China in sample collection, taking off from the moon and high-speed reentry to the Earth’s atmosphere, making it “one of China’s most complicated and difficult space missions”, Hu Hao, an official from China’s Lunar Exploration Programme, told the paper.

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