Chang'e-2 made the flyby on Dec. 13 at 16:30:09 Beijing Time (08:30"09 GMT), the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced on Saturday. In
The flyby was the first time an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth has taken such a close viewing of the asteroid, named after a Celtic god.
It also made China the fourth country after the United States, the European Union and Japan to be able to examine an asteroid by spacecraft.
Chang'e-2 came as close as 3.2 km from Toutatis and took pictures of the asteroid at a relative velocity of 10.73 km per second, the SASTIND said in a statement.
Sources with the administration told Xinhua that Chang'e-2 is continuing its deep space travel and will reach a distance of more than 6.2 million miles (10 million km) away from Earth in January next year.
Chang'e-2 was launched on Oct. 1, 2010 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center and later orbited the moon to finish a more extensive probe than its predecessor Chang'e-1.