By Rishi Iyengar
October 24, 2014

A Chinese spacecraft was successfully launched on a round trip to the moon on Friday.

The unmanned space vehicle, part of the country’s eventual goal to land a man on the moon, will complete an orbit of the planetary body before re-entering earth’s atmosphere and landing, according to a statement released by the Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. The flight is set to land at a base in the central region of Inner Mongolia eight days from its launch.

China already has an unmanned rover on the lunar surface called Jade Rabbit, which was dispatched on a one-way mission, and also has plans to set up a permanently orbiting space station by 2020, according to AFP.

Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com.

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