• The hope is that the data gathered by the probe could eventually lead to a radio-telescope on the far side of the moon, a long-running goal of many astronomers. The probe will also collect geographic data.
  • China has a mission planned to the moon in 2017, which involves an unmanned craft landing on the surface of the moon that will return to earth with samples.
  • China is a serious space power -- it sends astronauts into space regularly, and if it were to land and return from the moon, even with an unmanned craft, it would only be the third country to do so, after Russia and the United States.

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