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China's first controlled extra-terrestrial landing

12-01-2013 13:50 BJT Special Report: Chang’e-3 Lunar Probe |

The Chang’e mission will include China’s first attempt at a controlled landing on any surface away from earth. So far, only the US and the former Soviet Union have made controlled landings on the lunar surface. 

Chang’e-3 is carrying both a lander and a moon rover called "Yutu" or Jade Rabbit. The rover will survey the moon’s geological structure and surface substances, while looking for natural resources. It has the ability to analyze the moon’s crust to depth’s of up to 100 meters.

After entering lunar orbit, Chang’e-3 will go through six stages of deceleration, to descend from a height of 15 kilometers down to the lunar surface. The soft-landings by the US and former Soviet Union had no capacity to hover or avoid obstacles. But technology has since moved forward and the Chang’e-3 will be able to accurately survey landforms and identify the safest place to land. The probe is equipped with high-precision, fast-response sensors to analyze its motion and surroundings while the variable thrust engine, which has been designed and made by Chinese scientists, can generate up to 75 hundred newtons of thrust.

Editor:James |Source:

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