China lunar probe mission ends with planned crash
Updated Sun. Mar. 1 2009 12:58 PM ET
The Associated Press
BEIJING -- China's lunar probe crashed into the moon Sunday in a controlled collision at the end of a 16-month mission, state media reported.
Xinhua News Agency cited sources at the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense as saying the Chang'e 1 lunar satellite hit the moon at 4:13 p.m. local time (0813 GMT) on Sunday.
The satellite was under remote control by two observation and control stations in east China's Qingdao and Kashgar, a small city in northwest China, Xinhua said.
China launched the probe in late October 2007 to have it survey the entire surface of the moon. Slung into space by a Long March 3A rocket, the satellite surveyed the moon's surface using stereo radar and other tools.
China staged its first manned mission in 2003, becoming only the third country after Russia and the United States to launch a person into space.
Last year, it claimed a new landmark with its first space walk. Future ambitions including building a permanent orbiting space station and landing a man on the moon.