Tuesday, September 29, 2009

3D Map of the Moon completed by China

China has completed a high-resolution, 3D map of the entire surface of the moon, in an important step towards a future lunar landing, an expert involved in the project said Tuesday.

After putting its first man into space in 2003 -- only the third nation to do so -- China is aiming to launch an unmanned rover on the moon's surface by 2012 and a manned mission to the moon by around 2020.

The map was made using image data obtained by a camera on Chang'e 1, China's first lunar probe, Liu Xianlin of the Chinese Academy of Surveying and Mapping, who headed the project review panel, told AFP.

Liu called the achievement an important step for China along the path towards a future lunar landing.

China plans to launch a second lunar probe in October 2010, which will generate a map of an even higher resolution, according to Liu.


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