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China launches experimental moon orbiter
China launches experimental moon orbiter

China launched an experimental spacecraft Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. The eight-day program is a test run for a 2017 mission that aims to have a Chinese spacecraft land on the moon, retrieve samples and return to Earth. That would make burgeoning space power China only the third country after the United States and Russia to have carried out such a mission. The spacecraft lifted off from the southwestern Xichang satellite launch center early in the morning, separated from its carrier rocket and entered Earth orbit shortly after, the State Administration of Science, Technology and...

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