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Chang'e-3 launch successful, probe heading to moon

12-02-2013 05:32 BJT Special Report: Chang’e-3 Lunar Probe |

China has successfully launched the Chang’e-3 lunar probe from the Xichang Satellite launch center in Southwest China’s Sichuan province. It will be the first time a Chinese spacecraft will land on the surface of the extraterrestrial body.

Lifting off into space on a journey to the moon...

The Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the
launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Dec 2,
2013. [Photo by He Haiyang / Asianewsphoto]

The Chang’e-3 lunar probe takes off successfully. The Xichang Satellite Launch Center announces the good news.

"According to the Beijing Aerospace Control and Command Center, the Chang’e-3 lunar probe has entered orbit precisely. Now I announce, the launch of the Chang’e-3 lunar probe is a complete success," said Zhang Zhenzhong, director of Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

The probe was carried on a Long March 3-B Rocket, which took off at 1:30 am Beijing time on Monday. In less than 20 minutes, the probe separated from the rocket. Then it entered an Earth-moon transfer orbit several hundred kilometers above earth and later as scheduled, and unfolded its solar panels.

It will continue onward for about five days, making slight orbit corrections along the way to adjust its route. The probe will eventually land on the moon in mid-December if everything goes according to plan.

The lunar probe comprises a lander and a moon rover called Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit", the name of which is inspired by Chinese folklore.

Tasks for Yutu include surveying the moon’s geological structure and surface substances, and looking for natural resources.

If the mission succeeds, China will become the third country in the world after the United States and the former Soviet Union to land on the moon.

This is the second phase of China’s lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.


Editor:James |Source:

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