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Chinese move closer to putting man on the moon

CHINA launched its second unmanned lunar probe yesterday, the latest milestone for an ambitious space programme that aims to put a man on the moon later this decade.

The Chang'e II was shot into space yesterday evening aboard a Long March 3C rocket from the launch site in southwestern China's Sichuan province, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

The Chinese space programme is marking new milestones, even as those in the US and elsewhere face tight budgets -- although its close links to the military have limited co-operation with other nations -- including the International Space Station.

After its six-month mission, Chang'e II will either land on the moon, fly further into outer space, or begin orbiting the Earth.

Irish Independent