Speech by Sun Laiyan, Vice Group Leader of the National Leading Group of Lunar Orbiting Exploration Project, Vice Minister of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), Administrator of China National Space Administration (CNSA)

 November 26, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is my great pleasure to attend today's press conference together with my three colleagues. I would like to share our feeling of joy with all of you and extend our congratulations on the complete success of China 's first lunar exploration project.

We held the unveiling ceremony for the first lunar image of China 's first lunar exploration project at Beijing Aerospace Control Center this morning. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was present at the ceremony and extended his regards to the scientific and technical workers participating in the project development. At the ceremony, Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan read out the message of congratulation from the Party Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission, and Premier Wen Jiabao made an important speech, extending warm congratulations on the complete success of China's first lunar exploration project.

The complete success of China's first lunar exploration project is another milestone in the development of China's space industry following the successes made in man-made satellite and manned space flight, and also a landmark achievement resulted from China's independent scientific and technical innovation. During the implementation of this project, we have made lots of breakthroughs in major key technologies and achieved a large number of scientific and technical results in such areas as satellite orbit design and product development, long-range TT&C and communications, launch vehicle reliability improvement, highly reliable launch, and exploration data processing. China's first lunar exploration project has opened up a new journey for the development of China's space industry, taken the first step of China's deep space exploration, and has great significance for promoting the development of China's space science and technology and space scientific research, improving China's independent innovation ability, and arousing the scientific exploration spirit of the Chinese nation.

Since China's Lunar Exploration Project was approved in January 2004, under the kind attention and correct leadership of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, with the strong support of the whole nation and various departments, all people participating in the project development, construction, test and management have completely finished this project through vigorous coordination and tackling key problems with their all efforts according to requirement of accomplishing the lunar orbiting project with a high standard, high quality and high efficiency raised by the leading comrades of the central authorities. On October 24, 2007, a Long March 3A launch vehicle blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center and sent the Chang'e-1 satellite into the desired orbit. With the support of the ground TT&C system, Chang'e-1 accurately entered the circumlunar orbit on November 7 after 8 orbit maneuvers. On November 18, Chang'e-1 switched to the lunar-oriented operation state after in-orbit test and adjustment for a period of time. The CCD stereo camera onboard Chang'e-1 began operation on November 20 and the ground application system acquired the first batch of raw image data of lunar exploration. After technical processing for the image data received and mosaicing the images detected from 19 satellite orbits, the first lunar image of China's first lunar exploration project has been produced, and on this basis a three-dimensional stereo image has also been produced, marking that the five major systems of the project have completely achieved the predetermined engineering objectives and laid a solid foundation for the follow-on scientific exploration and research.

In 2006, both China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) and Manned Space Program were listed among the 16 national major projects in the Guidelines on National Medium- and Long-term Program for Science and Technology Development (2006-2020). At present we have finished the demonstration for the second phase of CLEP and submitted it to the Government for approval. The main target of the second phase is to launch a lunar lander carrying a rover to realize lunar soft landing and conduct detailed survey near the landing area. In the third phase, we will send a lunar lander to conduct survey near the landing area, collect samples and then return to the Earth.

China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) is a scientific and technical program for peaceful uses of outer space and also an open program. During the implementation of the first phase, we carried out cooperation with some countries including Europe and Russia . At the 8th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon held in Beijing last year, we made deep discussion and communication with scientists and technical experts from different countries on China Lunar Exploration Program. Based on the principle of equality and mutual benefit, peaceful use and common development, we are willing to develop more extensive exchanges and cooperation with our international colleagues for peaceful uses of outer space and benefiting mankind as a whole.

Now I and my three colleagues would like to answer your questions about China 's first lunar exploration project.