[meteorite-list] China Service Module Enters Orbit Around Moon

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:14:59 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201501140114.t0E1Exl5029597_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


China's Unmanned Orbiter Enters Orbit Around Moon
January 13, 2015

A service module of China's unmanned spacecraft successfully entered a
127-minute orbit around the moon on Tuesday. The service module conducted
three braking maneuvers on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to decelerate the
spacecraft enough to enter the target orbit, the State Administration
of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) told

Service capsule is in good condition

Zhao Wenbo, vice-director of SASTIND's moon probe said that, once the
circular flight stabilizes, the service module will travel along the current
orbit about 125 miles above the lunar surface to test key technologies
for the next moon mission Chang'e-5. At its highest point, the module
will be 3,293 miles above the lunar surface.
SASTIND said that the spacecraft has plenty of power remaining and is
functioning in good condition. Technicians at the Beijing Aerospace Control
Center have exercised stable and timely control, and system tests are
progressing well. China launched the moon orbiter on Oct.24. The service
module separated from the spacecraft's return capsule on Nov.1. The capsule
returned to Earth on Nov.1 after spending eight sessions circling the

Chang'e 5 set for moon landing in 2017

After releasing the capsule, the service module reached the Earth-Moon
second Lagrange Point (L2) at the end of November. It completed all the
preset scientific tasks and left the L2 point on January 4. The camera
system onboard will assist in identifying future landing sites for the
Chang'e 5 mission. Chang'e 5 million is scheduled for launch in 2017 to
bring lunar samples back to Earth.

The service module is loaded with equipment to collect data useful for
planning the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017. Chang'e 5 is a robotic sample
return mission that will make a landing on the moon, take samples of lunar
rocks and soil, and return to Earth. China received assistance from Russia
for the program. China's moon exploration program has already sent a couple
of orbiting probes. In 2013, it landed a probe on the moon, but it was
not designed to return to Earth.
Received on Tue 13 Jan 2015 08:14:59 PM PST

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