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.