China Moon

Reuters reports that China is taking its next step into space with the Chang’e One lunar orbiter launch this week:

The launch of the Chang’e One orbiter is set for Wednesday at 1000 GMT but could take place on the two days after then, depending on conditions, spokesman for the China National Space Administration, Li Guoping, told a news conference.

Li said the orbiter would circle the moon for over a year, mapping and analyzing its surface.

“It’s implementation will lay a technological foundation for our country’s development of deep space exploration activities,” Li said of the launch.

They’re also looking forward to a moon rover expedition by 2012.