The mission will see a Chinese orbiter soft-land on a celestial body for the first time, Global Times reported. In addition to several cameras, Chang'e-3 will carry a near-ultraviolet astronomical telescope to observe stars, the galaxy and the universe from the moon, said Ouyang Ziyuan, a senior advisor to China's lunar programme.

The telescope will observe the universe ‘farther and clearer’ and will possibly bring new discoveries since there will be no disturbance from the aerosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere on the moon, said Ouyang.

He added that the probe would also carry an extreme ultraviolet camera, which will be used on the moon for the first time to monitor the transformation of the earth's plasmasphere and the planet's environmental change.

The Chang'e-3 moon rover will roam the moon's surface to patrol and explore the satellite. Radar will be attached to the bottom of the rover to explore 100 to 200 meters beneath the moon's surface. Chang'e-3 has officially entered its launch stage, following research and manufacturing periods. It will be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China.

The Chang'e-3 mission is the second phase of China's lunar programme, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth. It follows the successes of the Chang'e-2 missions, which include plotting a high-resolution, full-coverage lunar map.


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