A Chinese manned lunar mission including a walk on the moon's surface has been scheduled for 2024, AP reported, citing comments made by a Chinese scientist to a Hong Kong newspaper. Lunar program vice-director Long Lehao said the moon walk would be the culmination of a program that would see a robot explorer bring a chunk of the moon's surface back to earth in 2017. There are also plans to send a landing vehicle to the moon in 2020 to conduct tests, including soil studies. The first stage of China's lunar program ï¿½ named ï¿½Changï¿½eï¿½ after the mythical Chinese moon-inhabiting fairy ï¿½ has already been unveiled by chief scientist Ouyang Ziyuan. It will begin next spring with the launch of a two-ton moon-orbiting satellite.
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