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Planned orbit trim for Chang'e-3 canceled

English.news.cn   2013-12-05 22:17:09            

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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Chang'e-3 trims its orbit

BEIJING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Chang'e-3, China's first planned soft moon landing, finished the first orbital trimming at 3:50 p.m. in its trajectory along the earth-moon transfer orbit, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) said.  Full story

China announces launch of Chang'e-3 lunar probe "successful"

XICHANG, Sichuan, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- The launch of China's lunar probe Chang'e-3 was "successful," the Xichang Satellite Launch Center announced Monday.

Zhang Zhenzhong, director of the center, made the announcement after the lunar probe entered the earth-moon transfer orbit and unfolded its solar panels. Full story

China's lunar probe enters earth-moon transfer orbit

XICHANG, Sichuan, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- China's lunar probe Chang'e-3 has entered the earth-moon transfer orbit after it separated from the carrier rocket, space authorities announced Monday.

Chang'e-3 arrived at the orbit with a perigee of 200 kilometers and an apogee of 380,000 kilometers as scheduled. Full story

China launches probe and rover to moon

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

Commentary: Lunar probe boosts "Chinese dream"

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.

If Chang'e-3 successfully soft-lands on the moon in mid-December as scheduled, China will become the third country, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to do so. Full story

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Backgrounder: China's "triple jump" progress in lunar probes

Backgrounder: Timeline of China's lunar program

Editor: Lu Hui
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