BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- China's lunar probe Chang'e-3 entered an orbit closer to the moon on Tuesday night.
Following an order from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, the probe descended from the 100 km-high lunar circular orbit to an elliptical orbit with its nearest point about 15 km away from the moon's surface, the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said in a statement.
The administration said the transition was conducted above the dark side of the moon at 9:20 p.m.
At 9:24 p.m., it was confirmed that Chang'e-3 had entered the new orbit.
In the new orbit, the probe will prepare for a soft-landing on the moon's surface, according to the statement.
Chang'e-3, which is carrying moon rover "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit), was successfully launched on Dec. 2 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
It is expected to land on the moon in mid-December, and will be China's first spacecraft to soft-land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body.
Chang'e-3 enters lunar orbit
BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's Chang'e-3 probe entered a circular lunar orbit at 5:53 p.m. Friday Beijing Time, after about 112 hours on a Earth-Moon transfer orbit, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) said.
The probe entered the lunar orbit after 361 seconds of precise braking by the variable thrust engine, following orders by engineers with BACC. Full story
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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