China to open moon exploration program to private firms

March 17, 2015 9:08 AM

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BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese government will open up its ambitious moon exploration program to private companies rather than simply relying on the state-owned sector as before, hoping to boost technological breakthroughs, a major newspaper said on Tuesday.

The next mission to the moon, to be carried out by the Chang'e 4 probe in the next two years or so, will serve as a platform "for technological research and development, product tests as well as data application" for private companies, the official China Daily said, citing a government statement.

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