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Scientific equipment aboard Chang'e-3 starts working

English.news.cn   2013-12-16 21:47:13            

Screen shows the photo of the Chang'e-3 moon lander taken by the camera on the Yutu moon rover during the mutual-photograph process, at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 15, 2013. The moon rover and the moon lander took photos of each other Sunday night, marking the complete success of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe mission. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)

BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Five of the eight pieces of scientific equipment aboard Chang'e-3 lunar probe have started to observe space, the Earth and the Moon, a Chinese scientist said on Monday.

They have entered working mode and telescopes and cameras have produced clear images, Zou Yongliao, a scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a press conference.

Comprising a lander and rover Yutu, (Jade Rabbit) Chang'e-3 soft-landed on the Moon on Saturday evening. Yutu later separated from the lander and rolled to moon surface earlier Sunday. In ancient Chinese mythology, Yutu was the white pet rabbit of the lunar goddess Chang'e.

The mission makes China the third country after the Soviet Union and the United States to soft land a spacecraft on lunar soil.

The lander and Yutu each carries four scientific instruments to conduct Moon-based observation, Zou said, adding the lander's cameras took photos of the Moon during its descent.

Yutu and the lander took photos of each other Sunday night through the lander's landform camera and Yutu's panoramic camera. The color images, transmitted live, showed the Chinese national flag on Yutu.

Yutu's radar started working Sunday night to test the structure of lunar soil, according to Zou.

"Chang'e-3 will study the Moon's landforms, geological structure, substance, and potentially exploitable resources," he said, adding, "the lander will observe the Earth's plasmasphere through telescopes."

Scientists from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have participated in the Chang'e missions, and some of the data can be shared by scientists and tech savvy enthusiasts all over the world, Zou added.

Chang'e-3 is part of the second phase of China's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to the Earth. It follows the success of the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010.

Related:

Xi Jinping congratulates Chang'e-3 mission's complete success

BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated the complete success of Chang'e-3 mission that achieved the country's first moon softlanding Sunday night at Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

Xi and other officials shook hands with staff members at the control center, extending greetings to all participants of the mission. Full story

China announces Chang'e-3 mission "complete success"

BEIJING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Ma Xingrui, chief commander of China's lunar program, announced on Sunday night Chang'e-3 mission a "complete success", after the lander and moon rover successfully took pictures of each other. Full story

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Commentary: Chang'e-3's soft landing marks China's hard success

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The moon Saturday saw a rare new visitor -- lunar probe Chang'e-3 from China, the third country on earth which achieved a soft landing on it after theUnited Statesand the former Soviet Union.

The success also made China the first country that conducted a soft landing on Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, a lunar area that remains unstudied and silent for hundreds of millions of years, stamping new foot prints in the history of mankind's lunar exploration. Full story

China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe amazes world

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's Chang'e-3, which includes its first lunar rover named Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, has successfully soft landed on the Moon Saturday, fulfilling the long-awaited dream of moon landing of the Chinese nation.

Since the successful launching of Chang'e-3 mission early December, the Chang'e-3 lunar exploration program has been put in the spotlight. Now as Jade Rabbit has made its touchdown on the moon surface, the whole world again marvels at China's remarkable space capabilities and even extends their aspiration for space cooperation with China. Full story

Editor: Yang Yi
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