Home · Weather · Forum · Learning Chinese · Jobs · Shopping
Search This Site
China | International | Business | Government | Environment | Olympics/Sports | Travel/Living in China | Culture/Entertainment | Books & Magazines | Health
Home / Top News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Lunar probe completes first orbital transfer
Adjust font size:

China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1 completed its first orbital transfer Thursday afternoon, another key move in its 380,000-km journey to the moon.

The orbital transfer began at 5:55 PM and succeeded after 130 seconds. The probe was transferred into an orbit with a perigee of about 600 km, 400 km up from the former 200-km perigee, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

Chang'e-1, named after a mythical Chinese goddess who, according to legend, flew to the moon, blasted off on a Long March3A carrier rocket at 6:05 PM on Wednesday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The circumlunar satellite will experience another three accelerations, which will further shorten its distance to the moon orbit, Zhou said.

The probe will complete its second orbital transfer on Friday, in which it will enter a 24-hour trajectory and orbit the earth along the new trajectory for three days.

It is expected to enter its earth-moon transfer orbit on Oct. 31 and enter the moon's orbit on Nov. 5.

The 2,300-kg moon orbiter carried eight probing facilities, including a stereo camera and interferometer, an imager and gamma/x-ray spectrometer, a laser altimeter, a microwave detector, a high energy solar particle detector and a low energy ion detector.

It will fulfill four scientific objectives: conduct a three-dimensional survey of the Moon's surface; conduct an analysis of the abundance and distribution of elements on lunar surface; conduct an investigation of the characteristics of lunar regolith and the powdery soil layer on the surface; conduct an exploration of the circumstance between the earth and the moon.

The satellite will relay the first picture of the moon in late November and will then continue scientific explorations of the moon for a year.

To date China's lunar orbiter project has cost 1.4 billion yuan (US$133 to 187 million) since research and development of the project was approved at the beginning of 2004.

The launch of the orbiter marks the first step of China's three-stage moon mission, which will lead to a moon landing and launch of a moon rover at around 2012.

In the third phase, another rover will land on the moon and return to earth with lunar soil and stone samples for scientific research around 2017.

China carried out its maiden manned space flight in October 2003, making it only the third country in the world after the Soviet Union and the United States to have sent men into space. In October 2005, China completed its second manned space flight, with two astronauts on board.

Japan launched its first lunar probe, nicknamed Kaguya after a moon princess in an ancient Japanese folktale, in mid-September, and India is planning to send its own lunar probe into space next April.

But Luan Enjie, chief commander of China's lunar orbiter project, said: "China is not involved in a moon race with any other country in any form."

"China will, in the principle of pursuing the policy of peaceful use of airspace, share the achievements of the lunar exploration with the whole world," he told Xinhua.

(Xinhua News Agency October 26, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Username   Password   Anonymous
China Archives
Related >>
- China has no timetable for manned moon landing
- China's road to the moon
- Chang'e to take off despite rainfall
- Moon orbiter, Chang'e I, sets to take off
- China's first lunar satellite scheduled to hit moon
Most Viewed >>
-Winter storms leave Chinese dark, cold, hungry in 'dead cities'
-Millions stranded in holiday havoc
-Taiwan authorities to raise 'referenda'
-Charity donations hit 3.2 bln yuan last year
-Taklamakan Desert experiences record snow
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback

Copyright © All Rights Reserved E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号