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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 9:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
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Location: Lancashire
In preparation for the launch of a far-side soft-lander later this year, China has launched its Queqiao ( "Magpie" ) satellite. It will go into orbit around the Moon and relay signals from its lander to Earth. This isn't an easy procedure.
If successful, China will be the first nation to have sent a soft-lander to the far-side of the Moon. The manager of the relay satellite project, Zhang Lihua, said that it was an important step for China's continuing exploration of the Moon.
The relay satellite will be placed in an orbit about 283,000 miles from Earth, making it the first communications satellite to operate in that part of the solar system. China's aim is to become a big space power by 2030. Japan and India are also going to send rockets to the Moon.
Next year, China will begin construction of its own manned space station.

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