China Launches Second Moon Mission

1 Oct , 2010 by Video

China successfully launched their second robotic mission, Chang’E-2, to the Moon. A Long March 3C rocket blasted off from Xichang launch center just before 1100 GMT on October 1. The satellite is scheduled to reach the Moon in five days, and so far, all the telemetry shows everything to be working as planned. It will take some time for Chang’E-2 to settle into its 100-km (60-mile) orbit above the lunar surfaces, although the China space agency also said the spacecraft will come as close as 15km above the surface during its mission in order to take high-resolution imagery of potential landing sites for Chang’E-3, China’s next lunar mission that will send a rover to the Moon’s surface, scheduled for 2013.

Chang’E-2 will be used to test key technologies and collect data for future landings.

China hopes to send another robotic probe to the Moon later this decade to attempt to return lunar samples to Earth, with the ultimate goal of landing an astronaut on the Moon.

For the first time in China, the general public was allowed to attend the launch to watch live, however a limited amount of tickets were sold for about $119 USD each. And unfortunately for the crowd, heavy clouds shielded the view of the rocket shortly after liftoff.

Chang’E-1 launched in 2007, and orbited the Moon for 16 months before being intentionally crashed on to the lunar surface.

China launched its first manned flight into low-Earth orbit in 2003; and two more followed, with the most recent one in 2008.

Related. Here’s an article about the 1st man on the Moon.

Source: BBC

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Jason Rhian
Member
October 1, 2010 9:12 AM

Yes China, along with Japan, Russia and India have all stated plans to fly manned lunar missions. The speculation is that with the ‘prestige’ of landing a man on the moon going to the U.S. that these missions will seek to exploit the vast resources of energy and minerals available on the lunar surface.

Now that the U.S. has abandoned plans to return to the moon, if these objectives are achieved, one has to wonder how NASA’s recent redirection will be viewed.

astrofizix
Member
astrofizix
October 1, 2010 6:44 AM

….Chinese moon base, 2020?

HeadAroundU
Member
October 1, 2010 7:00 AM

I doubt that. If they get the sample and get man on the moon till 2020, that would be great. Maybe, moon space station in 2030…etc

Olaf
Member
Olaf
October 1, 2010 10:38 AM

I don’t mind who is going to the Moon, as long as I can see it live as soon as possible.

Jason Rhian
Member
October 1, 2010 2:58 PM
Not a new one. Titanium, He-3, solar power and of course water. For those speaking of going on to the asteroids and Mars? One, the Obama plan won’t do it. Two? The other powers that ARE going to moon will be capitalizing on lunar resources that the U.S. bypassed – so that we can conduct the president’s stunts (His ‘been there’ comment shows that’s what they are). We only have a few days worth of time on another world. And now we’re to believe that a smattering of start-ups will get us to Mars some 36-37 times distant? Sorry, this is illogical thinking. We need to build an infrastructure, a foundation in space and yes this would include… Read more »
hal10000
Member
hal10000
October 1, 2010 12:35 PM

Wah, wah, wah the Chinese are gonna beat us to the moon!

We Americans been there 41 years ago… It’s time to go farther; to the asteroids.

Aqua4U
Member
October 1, 2010 1:43 PM

Maybe it will be a Chinese lunar orbiter that discovers a new mineral that changes the world’s economy?

Olaf
Member
Olaf
October 1, 2010 3:43 PM

I actually don’t think Bush wanted the Moon program but because all other countries are heading for the Moon he wanted to be ahead of it.

Ted Judah
Member
Ted Judah
October 1, 2010 8:28 PM
I disagree with Jason. Commercial space has indeed sent people into orbit. The first American sent into space went on a rocket built by the Chrysler Corporation. My father worked for General Dynamics and helped put John Glen into Orbit. NASA will let commercial space do the heavy lifting so that it can focus on the cutting edge hardware needed to travel out of near-Earth orbit (where hundreds have gone before) and inspire the scientists and engineers of tomorrow. Here’s my prediction: China, Russia, Europe and Japan will continue to venture farther into space on their own but there will also be a growing international space venture. (it may be the only way we get to Mars) Space… Read more »
GBendt
Guest
GBendt
October 1, 2010 11:57 PM
The Chinese want to demonstrate what they can do, and so they do it. Setting up a Chinese station there would demonstrate to everybody the quality and skillfulness of current Chinese science and technology forever They won´t go there for the treasures and minerals. They know we have lots of the same minerals on our home world, and these are much more easy to retrieve here than on the moon. Of course, there is some helium-3 on the moon, but to collect a million tons of that gas on the moon you have to dig up the upper regolith layer of the moon´s entire surface, heat it in ovens and collect and purify the gas from it. Even… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
October 2, 2010 2:51 AM
Jason Rhian, who posts here, finally reveals a political agenda in his comments. “Stunts”, indeed. Titanium, He-3, solar power and of course water. What a curious list of, presumably, “new minerals”. Titanium: “It is the ninth-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust (0.63% by mass)[28] and the seventh-most abundant metal. It is present in most igneous rocks and in sediments derived from them (as well as in living things and natural bodies of water) … Large quantities of rutile are also mined in North America and South Africa and help contribute to the annual production of 90,000 tonnes of the metal and 4.3 million tonnes of titanium dioxide.[16] Total reserves of titanium are estimated to exceed 600 million… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
October 2, 2010 3:09 AM
So much for the facts. I also wanted to comment on the politics: the president’s stunts (His ‘been there’ comment shows that’s what they are). I think we have to define and assert “stunts” here. Obama has, as all presidents since NASA was constructed, a space program. It was viable, and may still be after S&C maulings. To suggest otherwise is to reject obvious facts. As for the ‘been here’ comment, it is a political low fruit to capture the thinking of as much of the voting groups as possible. It doesn’t mean anything at all, it is certainly not indicative of “stunts” however defined. now we’re to believe that a smattering of start-ups will get us to… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
October 2, 2010 3:13 AM

Oops. “There is factual break” – There is no factual break.

TerryG
Member
October 2, 2010 3:46 AM

Excellent post Ted Judah. “NASA or Commercial” is a false choice proffered by those who don’t know their history and need only to open their eyes to find examples of pubic-private solutions and partnerships all over the shop.

Approved commercial vendors will help cut NASA’s $/kg cost of getting to LEO by 90% because unlike NASA, commercial operators are not bloated employment agencies.

Your prediction about a future international space venture is in line with the successful cooperative model used by the 18 nation ESA. Thanks very much for your post.

Aqua4U
Member
October 3, 2010 10:14 AM

TL-OM, What’s new about titanium on the Moon is that number one, location. Number two, location and finally number three, location. Its Titanium that doesn’t have to be lofted from from Earth’s gravity at well over $1,000 a pound!

Say we set up robotic factories to mine Titanium on Luna… What would YOU do with the metal?

kennethwo
Member
kennethwo
October 5, 2010 4:32 AM

China is leaving all other countries behind in the field of astronomy. It is the result of cut throat competition.
Pure Cleanse

Olaf
Member
Olaf
October 6, 2010 2:01 PM

They got in orbit successfully.
Now take the apollo landing sites pictures at hires and put them online to show off to the US that they can have better pictures of the landers. LOL

I am wondering if the Apollo nut-cases still come up with the argument that NASA pictures cannot be trusted then.

wpDiscuz