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

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.

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.

See original images at Xinhua News.

H/T: Cosmic_Penguin and Unmanned Spaceflight.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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