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  China's Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 to the moon

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Author Topic:   China's Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 to the moon
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-24-2007 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua news
China's 1st lunar probe Chang'e-1 blasts off

China launched its first lunar probe on Wednesday, the first step into its ambitious three-stage moon mission, marking a new milestone in the country's space exploration history.

The circumlunar satellite Chang'e-1 blasted off on a Long March 3A carrier rocket at 6:05 p.m. from the No. 3 launching tower in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center of southwestern Sichuan Province...

Chang'e-1 separated from carrier rocket at 6:29 p.m. and entered into a 16-hour orbit at 205 kilometers perigee and 50,930 kilometers apogee, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

It began to use solar energy for power supply as the solar panel was unfolded about an hour after the launch, according to the control center...

Chang'e-1, named after a legendary Chinese goddess of moon, is expected to experience four accelerations and enter earth-moon transfer orbit on October 31 and arrive in the moon's orbit on November 5.

ESA is collaborating with the Chinese on this mission by providing spacecraft and ground operations support services to CNSA. The two agencies will also share data and encourage a visitors' programme so that researchers can learn from each other.

From ESA: Chang'e-1 - new mission to Moon lifts off

Chang'e-1 has four mission goals to accomplish. The first is to make three-dimensional images of many lunar landforms and outline maps of major lunar geological structures. This mapping will include the first detailed images taken of some regions near the lunar poles.

Chang'e-1 is also designed to analyze the abundance of up to 14 chemical elements and their distribution across the lunar surface. Thirdly it will measure the depth of the lunar soil and lastly it will explore the space weather between the Earth and the Moon.

The spacecraft is large, weighing in at 2350 kg and it will operate from a low, circular lunar orbit, just 200 km above the surface of the Moon. From here, it will perform its science mission for a full year.

...named after the Chinese goddess of the Moon, Chang'e-1 represents the first phase in the Chinese Lunar Exploration Programme (CLEP). This programme is expected to last until around 2020 and the next phase will include a lander and associated rover. Looking farther into the future, plans are being drawn up for a sample return mission to bring lunar rocks to Earth for analysis.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2007 08:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua: China's first lunar probe enters moon's orbit
China's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, successfully completed its first braking at perilune and entered the moon's orbit Monday morning, becoming China's first circumlunar satellite.

...the probe is expected to brake for another two times in the following two days. The second braking will be performed at about 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 6, which will slow down the probe's speed to 1.8 km per second to help it enter a 3.5-hour orbit with a perilune of 200 km and an apolune of 1,700 km.

The third braking will be effected at around 8:00 a.m. on Nov. 7, which will further slow down its speed to 1.59 km per second to put it on a 127-minute round polar circular orbit. This is also its final destination where Chang'e-1 is supposed to start "working" formally.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2007 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua: China publishes first moon picture
China published the first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1 on Monday morning, marking the success of the country's first lunar probe project.

The framed black-and-white photo was unveiled by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. The image showed a rough moon surface with scattered round craters both big and small.

The area covered by the picture, about 460 kilometers in length and 280 km in width, was located within a 54 to 70 degrees south latitude and 57 to 83 degrees east longitude, according to the BACC.

The area pictured was part of the moon's highland and was mainly composed of plagioclase, a common rock-forming element. On the surface were craters of different sizes, shapes, structures and ages, the BACC sources said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-07-2007 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
China published the first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1 on Monday morning, marking the success of the country's first lunar probe project.
Last week, allegations rose that the photo released from Chang'e-1 was faked, as it appeared similar to a photograph taken by NASA several years ago.

The Planetary Society's blogger Emily Lakdawalla took the report to task, debunking the forgery claims but in the process discovering that China had retouched the image for public release.

See also Alan Boyle's Comic Log for reaction by other bloggers to Lakdawalla's research.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 03-01-2009 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BBC News: Chinese probe crashes into moon
A Chinese lunar probe has crashed into the moon in what Beijing has called a controlled collision.

The Chang'e 1 lunar satellite hit the moon's surface at 1613 local time (0813 GMT) at the end of a 16-month moon-mapping mission.

China launched the spacecraft in late October 2007 on a mission to survey the entire surface of the moon.

StarDome
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posted 03-02-2009 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for StarDome   Click Here to Email StarDome     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the news in China today:
China plans to land Chang'e III on the moon at the soonest in 2013, Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang'e I, the country's first moon probe, said here Monday.

The mission of Chang'e III is to make soft landing and probe the moon, said Ye, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body.

Before the mission, Chang'e II will be launched at the latest in 2011 to test key technologies of soft landing and lower technical risks, he said.

The timetable was revealed as China concluded the first phase of its three-stage moon mission with a controlled impact of Chang'e I on the moon Sunday.

Ye said China's three-stage moon mission could be defined as "orbiting", "landing" and "returning".

A Chang'e IV will also be launched during the second phase, which will be concluded before 2017, said Ye. But he didn't detail the task of the fourth probe.

Ye said the third phase will last from 2017 to 2020, during which China will launch recoverable moon rovers.

"Chang'e" is named after a legendary moon goddess. But Ye said the recoverable moon rovers may not continue to be named after the goddess. "The name hasn't been decided yet," he said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-29-2009 02:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua: China to launch Chang'e-2 satellite at the end of 2010
China planned to launch the Chang'e-2, the country's second lunar probe, at the end of 2010, the State Administration of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense said Monday.

The Chang'e-2 was to test key soft landing technologies for the Chang'e-3 and provide high-resolution photo images of the landing area, the administration said.

China has made progress on six key technologies of Chang'e-2, including the lunar capture, orbit control and the research on high-resolution stereo camera, it said.

Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang'e-1, the country's first moon probe, said earlier that China's three-stage moon mission could be defined as "orbiting", "landing" and "returning".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-30-2010 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua news
China to launch second lunar probe

China will launch its second lunar probe, Chang'e II, at an appropriate time between Oct. 1 and 3, the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province announced Wednesday.

Fueling of the Long March CZ-3C rocket will begin on Sept. 30.

The lunar probe will test key technology for Chang'e III, collect data for future landings of Chang'e III and Chang'e IV, and provide high-resolution photographs of the landing area.

The Long March CZ-3C rocket will boost Chang'e II to a trans-lunar orbit, which has an apogee of 380,000 km from the earth, and then the satellite is expected to take about 112 hours, or nearly five days, to arrive at its lunar orbit.

According to China's three-phase moon exploration road map, the country plans to launch its third unmanned probe to the moon, Chang'e III, in 2013. It is expected that a moon rock sample will be returned to earth in 2017.

The satellite, Chang'e II, was produced as an alternative to Chang'e I, which as launched in 2007.

The series of Chang'e probes is named after a legendary Chinese moon goddess.

Chang'e II is expected to circle the moon at a 100-km-high moon orbit and then seek an opportunity to enter into an elliptical orbit that allows the satellite to fly only 15 km above the moon.

Carrying a stronger camera than its predecessor, Chang'e II will take pictures of the planned landing area of the Chang'e III with a resolution of 1.5 meters from 15 km above the moon. The resolution on Chang'e I's camera was 120 meters.

After the shooting, Chang'e II will be back to the 100-km orbit and detect the content of useful moon elements and materials and explore the characteristics of lunar soil and the space environment for further moon explorations.

According to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), weather in space between Sept. 30 and early October is expected to be steady with less solar activity, which poses no negative impact on the launch of Chang'e II.

In Xichang, it would be mostly cloudy or overcast from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 with some showers possible, said Chen Zhenlin, a spokesman with the CMA.

China launched its first lunar mission in 2007 when it successfully put Chang'e I into lunar orbit. The spacecraft transmitted pictures of the moon's surface in January 2008 and ended its 16-month mission with a controlled crash on the moon in March 2009.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-01-2010 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua news
China launches lunar probe Chang'e II

China launched its second unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e II on Friday, inaugurating the second phase of a three-step moon mission, which will culminate in a soft-landing on the moon.

At 6:59:57 p.m., the satellite blasted off on a Long March 3C carrier rocket from No. 2 launch tower at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"Chang'e II lays foundation for the soft-landing on the moon and further exploration of outer space," said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar orbiter project.

Chang'e II entered the orbit with a perigee of 200 kilometers and apogee of 380,000 kilometers as scheduled. There it separated from the carrier rocket.

It was the first time that a Chinese lunar probe directly entered the earth-moon transfer orbit without orbiting the earth first.

"It is a major breakthrough of the rocket design, as it saves energy used by the satellite and speeds up the journey to the lunar orbit," said Pang Zhihao, a researcher with the China Academy of Space Technology.

The lunar satellite is expected to take about 112 hours, or almost five days, to arrive at its lunar orbit, faster than the 12 days taken by the Chang'e I three years ago.

"It travels faster and closer to the moon, and it will capture clear pictures," Wu said.

Chang'e II, named after a legendary Chinese goddess of moon, will orbit 100 kilometers above the moon, compared with 200 kilometers for Chang'e II.

Total expenditure for the Chang'e II mission is about 900 million yuan (134.33 million U.S. dollars).

China launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e II, in October 2007, marking a milestone in the country's space exploration.

After orbiting for 494 days and intentionally crashing onto the lunar surface, Chang'e II sent back 1.37 terabytes of data, producing China's first complete moon picture. The data has been shared with other countries for free.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-01-2010 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua news
Facts and figures about Chang'e II

China's second unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e II, launched at 6:59:57 p.m. Friday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The following are some facts and figures:

  • Chang'e II was built as an alternative to Chang'e I, which was launched in October 2007 and maintained a 16-month lunar orbit.

  • Chang'e II will test key technologies and collect data for future landings of Chang'e III and IV, and provide high-resolution photographs of the landing area.

  • Chang'e II satellite weighs 2.48 tonnes.

  • The designed life of Chang'e II is six months, compared with one year for Chang'e I.

  • The spatial resolution -- the distance between two points that an imaging system can distinguish -- of the newly-developed camera carried by Chang'e II will be around 10 meters, compared with 120 meters for that on Chang'e I.

  • The rocket will carry Chang'e II to a trans-lunar orbit, which has an apogee of about 380,000 kilometers from the earth, and then the satellite is expected to take about 112 hours, or nearly five days, to arrive at its lunar orbit. Chang'e I took 12 days.

  • Chang'e II will orbit 100 kilometers above the moon, compared with 200 kilometers for Chang'e I.

  • Total expenditure for the Chang'e II mission is about 900 million yuan (134.33 million U.S. dollars).

Glint
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posted 10-05-2010 08:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is pretty cool. Looks like the faring from the Chang'e 2 fluttered down and landed in a local Chinese village.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-06-2010 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua News
Chang'e-2 enters lunar orbit

China's second unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e-2, completed its first braking Wednesday, which decelerated the satellite and successfully allowed it to enter a 12-hour orbit, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

Chang'e-2, following instructions from the center, started the first braking at 11:06 a.m. and entered the 12-hour elliptical moon orbit 32 minutes later.

It was the first braking for Chang'e-2. The satellite needs to brake another two times before it can enter the designed 118-minute working orbit.

The braking "laid a solid foundation" for Chang'e-2 to carry out scientific explorations in its final orbit, BACC said in a press release.

Compared with Chang'e-1, it is more challenging for Chang'e-2 to brake as it must do so at a closer distance to the moon and at a higher speed.

Long-March-3C carrier rocket carried Chang'e-2 into space blasting off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, in southwest China's Sichuan Province, at about 7 p.m. Friday.

To acquire more detailed moon data, Chang'e-2 will enter a lower lunar orbit about 100 km above the surface, compared with the 200-km altitude of Chang'e-1, according to the control center.

Before its first braking, the lunar probe had traveled nearly 350,000 km.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-09-2010 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua News
China's second lunar probe completes final braking, enters working orbit

China's second unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e-2, has successfully completed its third, also the final, braking Saturday, which allowed the satellite to enter a 100 km-high lunar orbit, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

Chang'e-2, following instructions from the center, started the third braking at 11:17 a.m. and entered the 118-minute, round working orbit 15 minutes later, changing the satellite's apolune from 1,825 km to about 100 km, the BACC said. The satellite will begin scientific exploration activities soon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-09-2011 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Xinhua News
China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 goes to outer space

China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 on Thursday set off from its moon orbit for outer space about 1.5 million km away from the earth, Chinese scientists said Thursday.

The orbiter left its moon orbit at 5:10 p.m. and it will take about 85 days for the orbiter to reach outer space, according to the State Administration of Science,Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

The orbiter had finished all its tasks within its designed life span of six months by April 1.

Scientists decided to let it carry out additional exploratory tasks as the orbiter still had fuel in reserve.

Traveling into outer space from the moon's orbit is the most important task among five additional ones, according to the SASTIND.

"It's the first time in the world for a satellite to be set off from the moon in remote outer space," said Zhou Jianliang, deputy chief engineer of the Chang'e-2 measure and control system of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

Moon exploration means about 400,000 km away from the earth, but outer space exploration means 1.5 million km, posing great challenges to the country's technology in measure and control, telecommunications, data transaction and orbit design, scientists said.

Before flying away, the orbiter had finished two additional tasks as of May 23.

One was to take photos of the northern and southern poles of the moon. The other was to descend again to the perilune orbit, about 15 km away from the surface, to catch high-resolution images of the Sinus Iridum, or Bay of Rainbows, the proposed landing ground for future moon missions.

Scientists hope the satellite can continue operations until the end of next year.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-15-2012 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
China's state-run news service Xinhua reports that the nation's deep-space probe Chang'e-2 has successfully conducted a flyby of the asteroid Toutatis, at a distance of about 4.3 million miles (7 million kilometers) away from Earth.
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.

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.

In related news, scientists working with NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., have generated a series of radar data images of the three-mile-long (4.8-kilometer) Toutatis that made its closest approach to Earth on Dec. 12, 2012.

All times are CT (US)

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