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