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China's Moon mission chief congratulates India on successful launch of Chandrayaan-2

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BEIJING (PTI): China's lunar exploration programme chief on Monday congratulated India on its successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 and said Beijing was actively pursuing its own moon mission and is not in competition with any other country in planning its space explorations.

India on Monday successfully launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 onboard its powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport in Sriharikota to explore the unchartered south pole of the celestial body by landing a rover.

The geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle lifted-off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre into cloudy skies at 2.43 pm and successfully placed the 3,850-kg Chandrayaan-2 into the earth orbit about 16 minutes later.

Wu Weiren wished India's Chandrayaan-2 a success and said China is actively pursuing its own moon mission and is not in competition with any other country in planning its space missions.

International efforts to explore the moon – including made by India, Israel and the US – which is determined to send its astronauts back to the moon within five years, will be pressuring and motivating China's lunar probe missions to further develop, Wu was quoted as saying by the state-run Global Times commenting on the successful launch of the Chandrayaan-2 into space.

"The international trend will not play a decisive role in China's planning on its lunar missions, and China is not going to compete with any one over the matter," Wu said.

"China will pace itself against plans that have been already laid out in advance with each step surely achieving set goals," he said.

Wu said China's space projects have always been carried out in an independent and controllable fashion.

China's Chang'e-4 has become the first spacecraft to land on the lunar far side also known as the dark side of the moon in January this year.

The rover Yutu-2 then rolled off the lander to explore its surroundings.

China is planning several space missions including to Mars as well as building its own space station by 2022.

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