The opening keynote at this year’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, in Shanghai, was given by Ziyuan Ouyang, the chief scientist of China’s lunar exploration program, which is quite possibly the most active lunar program in the world right now. Ouyang confirmed that, yes, China is planning to send robots to the moon, and he revealed interesting details about the project.
For the past four years, China has been engaged in a three-phase plan that will ultimately culminate in a lunar rover and a lunar sample return mission, scheduled to take place in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The first phase was the Chang’e-1 lunar orbiter, which was launched in 2007 and created multispectral maps of the surface of the moon while also using a laser altimeter to generate a high-resolution 3D map.
Here are the plans:
|The Third Milestone for China’s Space Industry–China’s Lunar Exp… [2007-03-08]|
|The Chang’e-1 –ProjectChina’s Lunar Exploration Program(?) [2007-03-08]|
|Payloads of Chang’e-1–China’s Lunar Exploration Program(?) [2007-03-08]|
|Orbit Selection for Chang’e-1??China’s Lunar Exploration Program(… [2007-03-08]|
|Satellite Control System–China’s Lunar Exploration Program(?) [2007-03-08]|
|Driving Role of Deep Space Exploration for Development of Science… [2007-03-08]|
|Milestones of the Program [2007-03-08]|