Chang'e-1 lunar probe completes 3rd orbital transfer
www.chinaview.cn 2007-10-29 18:13:34   Print

Special report: China launches first lunar orbiter

The circumlunar satellite Chang'e-1 blasted off on a Long March3A carrier rocket at 6:05 p.m., Oct.24 from the No. 3 launching tower in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center of southwestern Sichuan Province.

The circumlunar satellite Chang'e-1 blasted off on a Long March3A carrier rocket at 6:05 p.m., Oct.24 from the No. 3 launching tower in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center of southwestern Sichuan Province. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
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    BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 completed its third orbital transfer on Monday afternoon, one more step forward in its 1,580,000-km journey to the moon.

    Instructions for the orbital transfer was issued by the Yuanwang-3 space tracking ship in south Pacific at around 5:56 pm.

    At around 6:01 pm, the probe was successfully transferred to a 48-hour orbit with an apogee of 120,000 km, up from the former 70,000 km.

    It will stay on the orbit until Oct. 31, when it is expected to enter the earth-moon transfer orbit, a critical point that may determine whether the satellite can fly to the moon successfully or not, according to experts at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

    Ultraviolet image sensors installed on the satellite will begin to work to collect information on the earth and the moon after it enters the 48-hour orbit, Wang Yejun, chief engineer with the BACC told Xinhua.

    It's the first time that an ultraviolet image sensor is put into actual use on a satellite, though a few countries had tested them on the ground, Wang said.

    The images Chang'e-1 collects will be transmitted back to the earth when it enters the lunar orbit, Wang said.

    Since Saturday, surveillance posts, on land and sea, and four astronomical observatories have kept watching over Chang'e-1. According to the data received so far, all systems of the satellite have been working normally.

    The lunar probe completed its first orbital change on Oct. 25, in which it was transferred to a 16-hour orbit with a perigee of about 600 km from 200 km.

    The probe completed its second orbital transfer on Oct. 26, which made it move on a 24-hour orbit with an apogee of 70,000 km, up from the former 50,000 km.

    Chang'e-1, named after a mythical Chinese goddess who, according to legend, flew to the moon, blasted off on a Long March3A carrier rocket at 6:05 p.m. on Oct. 24 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

    The 2,300-kg satellite is expected to arrive in the moon's orbit on Nov. 5. It carried eight probing facilities, including a stereo camera and interferometer, an imager and gamma/x-ray spectrometer, a laser altimeter, a microwave detector, a high energy solar particle detector and a low energy ion detector.

    It will fulfill four scientific objectives, including a three-dimensional survey of the Moon's surface, analysis of the abundance and distribution of elements on lunar surface, an investigation of the characteristics of lunar regolith and the powdery soil layer on the surface, and an exploration of the circumstance between the earth and the moon.

    The satellite will relay the first picture of the moon in late November and will then continue scientific explorations of the moon for a year.

    China's lunar orbiter project has cost 1.4 billion yuan (187 million U.S. dollars) since research and development of the project was approved at the beginning of 2004.

    The launch of the orbiter marks the first step of China's three-stage moon mission, which will lead to a moon landing and launch of a moon rover at around 2012. In the third phase, another rover will land on the moon and return to earth with lunar soil and stone samples for scientific research at around 2017.

    China carried out its maiden piloted space flight in October 2003, making it only the third country in the world after the former Soviet Union and the United States to have sent men into space. In October 2005, China completed its second manned space flight, with two astronauts on board.

    The launch of Chang'e-1 came shortly after Japan launched its first lunar probe, Kaguya, in mid-September, while India is planning to send its own lunar probe into space next April, sparking off concerns of a space race in Asia.

    But Luan Enjie, chief commander of China's lunar orbiter project, said that "China will not be involved in moon race with any other country and in any form."

    "China will, in the principle of pursuing a policy of peaceful use of airspace, share the achievements of the lunar exploration with the whole world," he told Xinhua.

China's lunar probe completes 2nd orbital transfer

    BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 is expected to arrive at the apogee of more than 70,000 kilometers from the earth on early Saturday morning after having completed its second orbital transfer on Friday, according to the moon probe team.

    Chang'e-1, China's first moon orbiter, is now moving on a 24-hour orbit and it is forecast to arrive at the apogee at around5:30 a.m. on Saturday.  Full story

China's first lunar probe completes first orbital transfer

    BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1 completed its first orbital transfer Thursday afternoon, another key move in its 380,000-km journey to the moon.

    The orbital transfer began at 5:55 p.m. and succeeded after 130 seconds. The probe was transferred to an orbit with a perigee of about 600 km, up from the former 200-km perigee, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC). Full story

Scientists activate 1st probing equipment on Chagn'e-1 lunar orbiter

    BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have successfully activated the first probing equipment on the Chang'e-1 lunar orbiter on Thursday evening to start exploring the space environment between earth and moon. Full story

Lunar scientists: China has no timetable for manned moon landing

    BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- China has no plan or timetable for a manned moon landing for now, senior Chinese lunar scientists told Xinhua on Thursday, a day after the nation launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e-1. Full story

China flies its dream and ambition to moon

    BEIJING, Oct.24 (Xinhua) -- China successfully launched its first circumlunar satellite Chang'e-1 on Wednesday, another step towards its ambition to become a major power in the outer space. Full story

China's lunar probe chief commander: scientific exploration, not competition

    XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China will not embark on any lunar probe competition "in any form with any country" and will "share the results of its moon exploration with the whole world" in its pursuit of a policy of peaceful use of airspace, said a chief commander of the country's first lunar satellite project. Full story

Solar panel of Chang'e-1 probe unfolded as planned

    XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1 has begun to use solar energy for power supply as the solar panel of the orbiter was unfolded as planned, according to the control center. Full story

Chang'e-1 successfully separated from carrier rocket

    XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chang'er Chang'e-1 is successfully separated from carrier rocket as planned, the control center said.  Full story

China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1 blasts off

    BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China launched its first lunar probe on Wednesday, first step into its ambitious three-stage moon mission, marking a new milestone in the country's space exploration history. Full story

Chief scientist: China's lunar orbiter project costs only 1 bln yuan

    XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's milestone lunar orbiter project only costs 1 to 1.4 billion yuan (about 133 to 187million U.S. dollars), the same amount as the money used to construct 2 km of subway in Beijing, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of the lunar exploration program. Full story

China's lunar orbiter, the story behind "Moon lady" Chang'e

    XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's first moon orbiter which is likely to be launched at around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday from a southwest launch center, has been named after "moon lady" Chang'e, a mythical Chinese goddess who flew to the moon.  Full story

Chang'e-1 launch site clears for blastoff 

    BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Testing operators have started leaving the launching tower in the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, where China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1 will blast off at around 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday.  Full story

China counting down to launch of its first lunar probe 

    XICHANG, Sichuan Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese press and thousands of tourists have gathered at China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province to witness the launch of the nation's first moon orbiter, which is scheduled to take place at 6:05 p.m. on Wednesday.  Full story

China's first moon orbiter launch in sight

    XICHANG, Sichuan, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- China is busy preparing for the launch of its first moon orbiter which is likely to take place on Wednesday evening. The rocket is now on the launch pad and all staff are in position at the site. Chinaview.cn will telecast live the launch of the orbiter. Full story


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Editor: Yao Siyan
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