Preparation for Chinese lunar probe on schedule

Beijing, March 1: Preparation for the launch of China’s lunar probe, Chang’e-5, in 2017 is going smoothly as planned, a leading scientist of the programme, Ye Peijian, said Saturday.

Chang’e-5, an important part of China’s third-phase lunar programme, is expected to bring back a moon rock sample to earth, a move hailed by Ye as “a historic moment” for China, reported Xinhua.

The Chang’e-3 lunar probe soft-landed on the Moon Dec 14, with the country’s first moon rover Yutu aboard. But Yutu has experienced a mechanical control abnormality, and scientists are still working to repair it.