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Ching'e 2 to reaches liberation point 2

English.news.cn   2011-08-27 15:36:35 FeedbackRSS

 
China's second lunar probe Chang'e two has just completed its secondary mission.(Sources: China Daily)


BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- China's second lunar probe Chang'e two has just completed its secondary mission. This consisted of leaving the moon's orbit to reach a point in space where neither the moon nor the earth's gravity would affect the probe.

When China's lunar probe Chang'e 2 completed its mission orbiting the moon three months ago, its journey in space was far from over.

It took on a whole new adventure, traveling one and a half million kilometers away from Earth. It has now reached a point in space where neither the moon nor the earth's gravity will affect the probe. This point is called L2. It's the farthest a Chinese spacecraft has ever been.

Huang Hao, Chief Deshigner of Chang'e 2, said, "This is the first time that a Chinese spacecraft reaches Liberation point 2. It's also the first time a satellite leaves the moon's orbit for such a journey. From this point, Chang'e 2 will be able to better observe the sun."

Chang'e 2's primary mission was to orbit the moon at only 100 kilometers from the surface, taking high resolution photos. After completing this, scientists decided that there was enough fuel to continue with the second part of the mission. But sending the probe from the moon was unprecedented. Similar missions has previously left directly from Earth, so keeping the satellite on course was a technological challenge.

Zhou Jianliang, Deputy Chief Designer, Measure & Control System of Chang'e 2, said, "The satellite faced various disruptions on its journey, which could have led it off course. We had planned four readjustments to keep it on track. But we only need to do it once since the first adjustment proved so accurate."

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Editor: An
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