BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lunar probe Chang'e-3 will not perform a planned third trimming of its trajectory along the earth-moon transfer orbit, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
Chang'e-3, which is carrying moon rover "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit), was successfully launched early Monday morning from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
"The probe's carrier, an enhanced Long March-3B rocket, entered the orbit with comparatively high precision, and the first two orbital trimmings were highly exact, which resulted in the probe being capable of meeting the demands of near-moon deceleration and follow-up orbital control," said a statement released Thursday by the administration.
Noting good adaptability in the flying control plan for Chang'e-3, the statement added that "it has been decided that a third orbital trimming is not necessary."
If all goes well, the Chang'e-3 mission will mark the first time for China to send a spacecraft to soft-land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body, where it will conduct surveys of the Moon.
According to the administration, the variable thrust engine -- completely designed and made by Chinese scientists -- can realize continuous variation of thrust power ranging from 1,500 to 7,500 newtons. It will offer the main momentum for Chang'e-3 as it decelerates before reaching the lunar surface.
Chang'e-3 has been in normal operation for about 88 hours as of 6 p.m. Thursday, with a distance travelled of nearly 350,000 kilometers, according to the statement.
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XICHANG, Sichuan, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The launch of China's lunar probe Chang'e-3 was "successful," the Xichang Satellite Launch Center announced Monday.
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XICHANG, Sichuan, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- China launched the Chang'e-3 lunar probe with its first moon rover aboard early on Monday.
The lunar probe, aboard a Long March-3B carrier rocket, blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 1:30 a.m. Monday. Full story
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BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- China launched the the country's first moon rover aboard its Chang'e-3 lunar probe on Monday, bringing Chinese dreams of reaching the moon tantalizingly close.
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