After launching a sattelite around Luna many moons ago (pun intended), it looks like the Chinese are about to send a second satellite in order to take a closer look at Earth nearest neighbor.

(Space.com) China is preparing its second moon orbiter for launch in October of this year. The Chang’e 2 probe will carry a high-resolution camera capable of spotting lunar surface features as small as 3 feet.

Chang’e 2 will map potential landing sites for follow-on robotic missions that will attempt to reach the moon’s surface, another first for the Chinese space program. China has not set a date for Chang’e 3′s lunar landing mission.

The second satellite will probable help China compete against Japan’s SELENE (which has been mapping Earth’s moon in high definition).

Hopefully in the not-so-distant future China will consider landing a few good men (and woman) upon the lunar surface, although for now we will settle for a government rover.

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