Up to three Hong Kong scientists will be selected from four candidates this summer to take part in the nation's first lunar mission scheduled for next year. Luan Enjie, commander-in-chief of the mainland's lunar exploration programme, said yesterday he believed Hong Kong scientists could contribute to the country's lunar mission. At a seminar at the University of Science and Technology, he said construction of the Chang'e 1, a lunar satellite being built for the mission, was scheduled to be completed in December and launched next April. Su Xiaojun, director of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan affairs under the China Association for Science and Technology, said four scientists from the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University, the Polytechnic University and the University of Science and Technology had been recommended for the mission. 'Two or three scientists will be selected in August or September to join the programme and they will be awarded certificates confirming their involvement,' Mr Su said. 'They will be involved in analysing data relating to the programme.' The mainland's lunar exploration centre, under the China National Space Administration, signed an agreement with the University of Science and Technology yesterday. Asked about the candidates, the university's dean of engineering, Philip Chan Ching-ho, said Li Zexiang, an expert in automation technology who won a National Natural Science Award in 1997, was an outstanding scientist.