March 2, 2009 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
China's lunar probe lands on moon

BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China's first lunar probe landed on the moon in a 
controlled collision Sunday, marking the first phase of the nation's 
three-stage moon mission, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The second stage involves sending a second probe to practice soft landings, the 
Xinhua news agency said.

The mission will culminate with the launch and landing of a rover on the moon 
to collect mineral samples in 2012. 

The probe -- Chang'e-1, named after a legendary moon goddess -- launched into 
space 16 months ago on October 24, 2007.

China became only the third nation, after the United States and Russia, to send 
a manned spacecraft into orbit. It did so in October 2003.

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