24/7 Space News  





. China Moon Mission Chang'e-1 In Good Condition

file illustration
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Oct 28, 2007
All the systems of China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 are in good conditions with the high energy solar particle detector and the low energy ion detector functioning properly on Saturday, according to the moon probe team.

The Chang'e-1, China's first moon orbiter, is currently moving on a 24-hour orbit with an apogee of 70,000 kilometers after it entered the orbit following its second orbital transfer at 5:33 p.m. on Friday, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

The lunar probe has traveled more than 500,000 kilometers so far. It has to travel a total of 1.59 million kilometers before it reaches the moon orbit as planned, said Ji Gang, an engineer of monitoring and controlling branch of the moon probe program.

The BACC said the VLBI beaconing machine on board the satellite has started operation in the early hours on Saturday, and China's four ground monitoring stations with the application of the VLBI, or "Very Long Baseline Interferometry", technology have monitoringChang'e-1.

The VLBI technology helps to reduce the time needed for orbit determination, according Ji.

Ji said the probe will stay on the 24-hour orbit before it moves further from the earth to a 48-hour orbit on Oct. 29, which runs more than 260,000 kilometers.

The satellite is expected to fly to the moon in a real sense after it enters the earth-moon transfer orbit on Oct. 31, and it is planned to arrive in the moon's orbit on Nov. 5.

The lunar probe completed its first orbital transfer Thursday afternoon, in which it was transferred to a 16-hour orbit with a perigee of about 600 kilometers from 200 kilometers.

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 p.m. Wednesday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

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.

earlier related report
China's lunar probe completes 2nd orbital transfer BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) China's lunar probe Chang'e-1 is expected to arrive at the apogee of more than 70,000 kilometers from the earth on early Saturday morning after having completed its second orbital transfer on Friday, according to the moon probe team.

Chang'e-1, China's first moon orbiter, is now moving on a 24-hour orbit and it is forecast to arrive at the apogee at around5:30 a.m. on Saturday.

"Such a long distance will not be a challenge for our monitoring system. We have successfully accomplished missions to monitor a satellite which flies even further away from the earth," said Tang Ge, head of orbit monitoring and controlling office of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

The Chang'e-1 had traveled more than 389,000 kilometers by the time it carried out its second orbital transfer, said Zhang Bo, an engineer of monitoring and controlling branch of the moon probe program.

"It still has about 1.19 million kilometers to go before it reaches the moon orbit as planned," said Zhang.

According to Zhang, the moon orbiter will experience another two orbital transfers before it begins to fly to the moon in a real sense on Oct. 31.

"Chang'e-1 is expected to enter the earth-moon transfer orbit on Oct. 31. Before that, it's like a man-made satellite of the earth since it travels on the earth orbit," said Zhang.

The Beijing control center issued the instruction for the second orbital transfer at around 4:50 p.m.. The orbital transfer was effected at 5:44 p.m.

The probe is now moving on a 24-hour orbit with an apogee of 70,000 kilometers, up from the former 50,000 kilometers, according to information from the Yuanwang III space tracking ship at the southern Pacific.

It will stay on the orbit for three days and then move further from the earth to a 48-hour orbit on Oct. 29, according to the BACC sources.

The lunar probe completed its first orbital transfer Thursday afternoon, in which it was transferred to a 16-hour orbit with a perigee of about 600 kilometers from 200 kilometers.

The first probing equipment on the lunar orbiter started Thursday evening to explore the space environment between earth and moon.

The high-energy solar particle detector, which was positioned on board the satellite with seven other probing facilities, will collect data on the space expanse between 40,000 and 400,000 kilometers from earth.

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 p.m. Wednesday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.

The satellite is expected to arrive in 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 fulfil four scientific objectives, including a three-dimensional survey of the Moon's surface, analysis of the abundance and distribution of elements on lunar surface, an investigation of the characteristics of lunar regolith and the powdery soil layer on the surface, and 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.

China's lunar orbiter project has cost 1.4 billion yuan (187 million U.S. dollars) 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 piloted space flight in October 2003, making it only the third country in the world after the former 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.

The launch of Chang'e-1 came shortly after Japan launched its first lunar probe, Kaguya in mid-September, while India is planning to send its own lunar probe into space next April, sparking off concerns of a space race in Asia.

But Luan Enjie, chief commander of China's lunar orbiter project, said that "China will not be involved in moon race with any other country and in any form."

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

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Chang'e-1 Special Report at China View/Xinhua
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


hello world
Chinese media trumpet space launch
Beijing (AFP) Oct 25, 2007
China's rise as a space power poses no threat to the rest of the world, official media said Thursday, as it celebrated the successful start of the nation's efforts to send a man to the moon.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Seven Chinese apply to be space tourists
  • For the first time, women rule in space
  • 'Malaysian Gagarin' eyes return to space
  • Broccoli Sprout-Derived Extract Protects Against Ultraviolet Radiation

  • Mars Ice Shaken Not Stirred
  • UA's Phoenix Mars Mission Gets A Chance To Lounge
  • Hawaii Reveals Steamy Martian Underground
  • Hummocky And Shallow Maunder Crater

  • Russia launches first Proton rocket after crash
  • Ariane 5 arrives In French Guiana For Arianespace's Sixth Mission Of 2007
  • ILS Proton Launch Scheduled In November For SES SIRIUS 4 Satellite
  • Successful Ariane 5 Upper Stage Engine Re-Ignition Experiment

  • DMCii Satellite Imaging Helps Dramatically Reduce Deforestation Of Amazon Basin
  • NASA Views Southern California Fires And Winds
  • A Roadmap For Calibration And Validation
  • GeoEye Contract With ITT Begins Phased Procurement Of The GeoEye-2 Satellite

  • Goddard Instrument Makes Cover Of Science
  • Checking Out New Horizons
  • Pluto-Bound New Horizons Sees Changes In Jupiter System
  • Maneuver Puts New Horizons On A Straight Path To Pluto

  • Dwarf Galaxies Need Dark Matter Too
  • To Catch A Galactic Thief
  • The Fantastic Skies Of Orphan Stars
  • The Fantastic Skies Of Orphan Stars

  • China Eyes The Moon
  • China's Lunar Orbiter, The Story Behind "Moon Lady" Chang'e
  • NASA Offers 2 Million Dollar Lunar Lander Competition Prize
  • China Counting Down To Launch Of Lunar Probe

  • Russia Launches Proton Carrier Rocket After The Ban
  • EU's Galileo satnav scheme needs millions more next year: MEPs
  • Another GPS Satellite Successfully Launched
  • Science And Galileo - Working Together

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement