Categories: ChinaMoon

China Launches Second Moon Mission

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

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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