China’s Lunar Test Spacecraft Takes Incredible Picture of Earth and Moon Together

Article written: 28 Oct , 2014
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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The Chinese lunar test mission Chang’e 5T1 has sent back some amazing and unique views of the Moon’s far side, with the Earth joining in for a cameo in the image above. According to the crew at UnmannedSpaceflight.com the images were taken with the spacecraft’s solar array monitoring camera.

Add this marvelous shot to previous views of the Earth and Moon together.

A closeup of Mare Marginis, a lunar sea that lies on the very edge of the lunar nearside. Credit: Xinhua News, via UnmannedSpacefight.com.

A closeup of Mare Marginis, a lunar sea that lies on the very edge of the lunar nearside. Credit: Xinhua News, via UnmannedSpacefight.com.

The mission launched on October 23 and is taking an eight-day roundtrip flight around the Moon and is now journeying back to Earth. The mission is a test run for Chang’e-5, China’s fourth lunar probe that aims to gather samples from the Moon’s surface, currently set for 2017. Chang’e 5T1 will return to Earth on October 31.

The test flight orbit had a perigee of 209 kilometers and reached an apogee of about 380,000 kilometers, swinging halfway around the Moon, but did not enter lunar orbit.

A view of Earth on October 24, 2014 from the Chinese Chang’e-5 T1 spacecraft. Credit: Xinhua News, via UnmannedSpaceflight.com.

A view of Earth on October 24, 2014, from the Chinese Chang’e-5 T1 spacecraft. Credit: Xinhua News, via UnmannedSpaceflight.com.

See original images at Xinhua News.

H/T: Cosmic_Penguin and Unmanned Spaceflight.

Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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3 Responses

  1. Member
    kbutler says

    Yeah. And I bet they are using a Japanese camera…

  2. mxtb says

    How far away from the moon would the spacecraft need to be to get that perspective?
    It seems to be quite far out of the orbital plane of the earth and moon.

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