(Ucs News Galactic Service) China yesterday successfully launched the Chang satellite to explore and map the lunar surface, the first major step in its ambitions to put a man on the moon by around 2020. However, soon after the satellite reached orbit it was abruptly recalled back to Earth due to toxic lead contamination.
The satellite recall is a another black eye for China’s export market. According to the China Space Agency a check of construction documents revealed that lead paint was used during the final assembly and that inspection results were falsified.
In an interview with China’s official Xinhua news agency, the chief commander of the Chinese lunar satellite project, Luan Enjie, acknowledged “The toxic lead is a major set back for China but the maker of the satellite, Mattel USA, has offered to replace the space craft free of change.”
Mr Luan sought to play down the failure as “bureaucratic bungling” but he was later flown to Beijing for punishment.