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China Prepares for Its First Moon Landing

6 Dec 2013, 16:32 UTC
China Prepares for Its First Moon Landing
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So far, Asia’s new solar system missions seem to be proceeding without a hitch. China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft entered lunar orbit late Friday afternoon Beijing time, and will attempt the country’s first robotic moon landing on December 14. Once on the surface, the main lander will deploy a desk-size wheeled rover named Yutu (Jade Rabbit) to […]

Mangalyaan returned this image of India (with a storm bearing down on the east coast) before it left Earth orbit. (Photo: ISRO)
So far, Asia’s new solar system missions seem to be proceeding without a hitch.
China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft entered lunar orbit late Friday afternoon Beijing time, and will attempt the country’s first robotic moon landing on December 14. Once on the surface, the main lander will deploy a desk-size wheeled rover named Yutu (Jade Rabbit) to roam the lunar landscape.
Meanwhile, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, nicknamed Mangalyaan (“Mars craft”), escaped the gravitational pull of Earth on December 4, and is now in interplanetary space, headed for Mars. The next milestone is scheduled for December 11 — the first of three rocket burns to tweak the spacecraft’s trajectory before its arrival at the Red Planet in September.
Inside the Mangalyaan control room as the ...

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