You are here:   Home/ Development News/ Science & Technology

Planned Orbit Trim for Chang'e-3 Canceled

Xinhua News Agency, December 6, 2013 Adjust font size:

Chinese lunar probe Chang'e-3 will not perform a planned third trimming of its trajectory along the earth-moon transfer orbit, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Chang'e-3, which is carrying moon rover "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit), was successfully launched early Monday morning from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

"The probe's carrier, an enhanced Long March-3B rocket, entered the orbit with comparatively high precision, and the first two orbital trimmings were highly exact, which resulted in the probe being capable of meeting the demands of near-moon deceleration and follow-up orbital control," said a statement released Thursday by the administration.

Noting good adaptability in the flying control plan for Chang'e-3, the statement added that "it has been decided that a third orbital trimming is not necessary."

If all goes well, the Chang'e-3 mission will mark the first time for China to send a spacecraft to soft-land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body, where it will conduct surveys of the Moon.

According to the administration, the variable thrust engine -- completely designed and made by Chinese scientists -- can realize continuous variation of thrust power ranging from 1,500 to 7,500 newtons. It will offer the main momentum for Chang'e-3 as it decelerates before reaching the lunar surface.

Chang'e-3 has been in normal operation for about 88 hours as of 6 p.m. Thursday, with a distance travelled of nearly 350,000 kilometers, according to the statement.

Bookmark and Share

Related News & Photos