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BEIJING, October 27 (Itar-Tass) - Chinese carrier rocker Changcheng 3B /Long March 3B/ left Beijing early morning Sunday to be taken to Xichang Space Center in the country southwest province of Sichuan where preparations for the launch of the first Chinese lunar rover are due to begin, says a report issued by the National Defense Science, Technology and Industry Commission.
Xinhua news agency said in this connection that, compared with the project of the Chang’e moonwalker, a number of novel technologies have been used in the design of Chang’e-3, making it much more reliable.
According to the information published previously, the Chinese moonwalker is a self-propelling probe with the weight of about 100 kilograms that will be expected to operate on the surface of the Moon for no less than three months.
Chang’e 3 is due to be launched at the end of December as part of Phase 2 of China’s lunar exploration program, which envisions the launching of satellites to the lunar orbit, descents to the lunar surface, and studies of soil there.
The Chinese hope to sent taikonauts /a national equivalent of cosmonauts or astronauts/ to the Moon sometime between 2020 and 2025.