Policy Forum

China’s present and future lunar exploration program

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Science  19 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6450, pp. 238-239
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9908

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Abstract

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the pace of lunar exploration has accelerated, with more than a dozen probes having undertaken scientific exploration of the Moon. Prominent among these have been the robotic “Chang’E” (CE) missions of the China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP). We discuss technological and scientific goals and achievements for the four completed, and four planned, CE missions, and longer-term goals and plans of the CLEP beyond the CE missions. The exploration plan is flexible and iterative, with an emphasis on international cooperation.

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