eldavojohn writes "Perhaps unsatisfied with the closeups that Google Moon has to offer, China has decided to survey the moon down to the 'inch'. In the second half of 2007, they plan to launch an unmanned lunar satellite to first orbit the moon, land on the moon & then return samples to earth for them to analyze. '"The moon probe project is the third milestone in China's space technology after satellite and manned spacecraft projects, and a first step for us in exploring deep space," the China National Space Administration head said. The orbiter represented the first phase, with a moon rover to be used in the second phase scheduled for around 2012, reports said. The plan for the third phase, scheduled for around 2017, was for another rover to land on the lunar surface and collect samples before returning to Earth.'"