China places satellite in lunar orbit

The Chinese have marked a significant space milestone. A Chinese satellite has successfully entered the orbit of the moon.

Image Source: CCTV/Chinese National Space Agency

Image Source: CCTV/Chinese National Space Agency

The unmanned spacecraft may be more than six decades behind the efforts of the United States, but it is still noteworthy. China has only recently turned their efforts towards space exploration and this craft is part of the Chinese plan to land a robotic spaceship on the lunar surface to collect rock and soil samples for testing. Chinese scientists hope that the moon may be a good supply of a rare helium isotope known as helium-3 that could be critical to supplying energy on Earth. The Chinese are interested in possibly mining on the moon.

The spacecraft is presently collecting data to help the Chinese plan for the 2017 mission that will send a service module to collect the samples before returning to earth.

Author: Nicole Drum

Nicole Drum is a writer presently living in the Midwest. Pathologically curious she is interested in a variety of subjects and issues with a special fondness for the intersection of technology and humanity. When she isn't working on her first novel she can be found being irreverent on Twitter, Google +, and on her blog, Not Magazine Ready.

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