Moon Society/Lunar Development World Map

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14 November 2008

On Orbit XII

Phase 1 of China's Lunar Probe Project is complete according to Chinese scientists. The mapping of the lunar surface by the probe Chang'e-1 was performed over the course of a year. As of yet, the Chinese government hasn't release the maps to the general public. There is another probe in the pipeline, Chang'e-2 and a rover scheduled for a 2012 launch as phase two for the China lunar program. Around 2017, sample return rover is scheduled as the third stage.

India's lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 has reached its final lunar orbit. Orbiting at about a height of 100 km above the surface, Chandrayaan-1 takes about two (2) hours complete an orbit of the Moon. Chandrayaan-1 is projected to have a life cycle of two (2) years. The next thing to look forward to is the release of the Moon Impact Probe (MIP)

The MIP has a mass of 35 kg and will be release at some point in the future while Chandrayaan-1 is in its current orbit. Flight time is expected to be about 25 minutes from launch to impact. The primary objective is to demonstrate the technologies required for landing the probe at a desired location on the Moon and to qualify some of the technologies related to future soft landing missions. Chandrayaan-2 has been scheduled for no later 2012. The ISRO has long term plans to send probes to both Mars and Venus.

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