Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 goes to outer space
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (XNA) Jun 10, 2011

The Chang'e probes are named after a legendary Chinese moon goddess who flew to the moon.

China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 on Thursday set off from its moon orbit for outer space about 1.5 million km away from the earth, Chinese scientists said Thursday. The orbiter left its moon orbit at 5:10 p.m. and it will take about 85 days for the orbiter to reach outer space, according to the State Administration of Science,Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

The orbiter had finished all its tasks within its designed life span of six months by April 1.

Scientists decided to let it carry out additional exploratory tasks as the orbiter still had fuel in reserve.

Traveling into outer space from the moon's orbit is the most important task among five additional ones, according to the SASTIND.

"It's the first time in the world for a satellite to be set off from the moon in remote outer space," said Zhou Jianliang, deputy chief engineer of the Chang'e-2 measure and control system of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

Moon exploration means about 400,000 km away from the earth, but outer space exploration means 1.5 million km, posing great challenges to the country's technology in measure and control, telecommunications, data transaction and orbit design, scientists said.

Before flying away, the orbiter had finished two additional tasks as of May 23.

One was to take photos of the northern and southern poles of the moon. The other was to descend again to the perilune orbit, about 15 km away from the surface, to catch high-resolution images of the Sinus Iridum, or Bay of Rainbows, the proposed landing ground for future moon missions.

Scientists hope the satellite can continue operations until the end of next year.

"We are developing outer space measure and control stations in outer space and they will be capable to carry out tasks by the end of the second half next year," said an SASTIND scientist, who declined to be named.

At that time, the satellite can be used to test the two stations' functions, the scientist said.

Challenges exist as Chang'e-2 was not designed for the additional task and it is now in extended service without extra capacities to deal with abnormal risks, Zhou said.

Meanwhile, long-distance brings many problems like weakening signals and difficulties in measure and control, Zhou said.

The Chang'e probes are named after a legendary Chinese moon goddess who flew to the moon.

Besides the current operations, China's ambitious three-stage moon mission will include a moon landing and launch of a moon rover around 2012 in the second phase. 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.

The country has no plan or timetable for a manned moon landing for now.

China launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, in October 2007.

It became the third country after Russia and the United States to send a person into space in 2003. Two more manned space missions followed with the more recent in 2008 involving the country's first human space walk.


Related Links
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Building harmonious outer space to achieve inclusive development
Vienna, Austraia (XNA) Jun 07, 2011
China hopes all countries would continue to strengthen open and inclusive international cooperation characterized by equality and mutual benefit and further improve related laws in outer space explorations, a Chinese diplomat told Xinhua. Huang Huikang, director of the Department of Treaty and Law in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spoke about China's space policy as head of the Chinese d ... read more

NASA Releases New Lunar Eclipse Video

The Power of A Moon Rock

Looking at the volatile side of the Moon

Parts of moon interior as wet as Earth's upper mantle

Opportunity Heads Toward 'Spirit Point'

NASA Inspector General Report into the Management of MSL Project

New solar system formation models indicate that Jupiter's foray robbed Mars of mass

Opportunity Studies Rock Outcrop

Students Build Space Habitats at NASA's Johnson Space Center

Solar system edge 'bunches' in magnetic bubbles: NASA

NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science and Technology

Japan's next gizmo: brainwave-controlled cat ears

China's second moon orbiter Chang'e-2 goes to outer space

Building harmonious outer space to achieve inclusive development

China's Fengyun-3B satellite goes into official operation

Venezuela, China to launch satellite next year

Space station puts out welcome mat

New Crew Members Arrive at ISS

Soyuz docks at ISS carrying Russian, US, Japanese astronauts

Soyuz heads to ISS carrying Russian, US, Japanese astronauts

SES-3 Satellite Arrives At Baikonour Launch Base

Shipments Of Sea Launch Zenit-3Sl Hardware Resume On Schedule

US Army supports student launch program

Boeing Opens Exploration Launch Systems Office in Florida

Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Second Rocky World Makes Kepler-10 a Multi-Planet System

Kepler's Astounding Haul of Multiple-Planet Systems Just Keeps Growing

Bennett team discovers new class of extrasolar planets

Japan 3-D pop avatar a real-world hit

While consoles slug it out, mobiles games zip in

HP's TouchPad going on sale in US on July 1

Greenpeace warns of radiation risk to Japan children

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. 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 Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement