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Chang’e-3 brakes into lunar orbit

Source:Xinhua-Global Times Published: 2013-12-7 0:38:02

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China's Chang'e-3 probe entered a circular lunar orbit at 5:53 pm Friday Beijing time, after about 112 hours on an Earth-to-moon transfer orbit, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) said.

The probe entered lunar orbit after 361 seconds of precise braking by the variable thrust engine, following orders by engineers with BACC. The center later verified that the Chang'e-3 had entered the 100 kilometer-high lunar circular orbit.

The braking was important since otherwise Chang'e-3 would have escaped from the moon, or crashed into it, said BACC.

The probe was launched at 1:30 am Monday from the Xichang Satellite Center. It should land on the moon in the middle of December.

Some previous reports claimed that research on the Chang'e-5 probe would be ended. The rumors were denied by Zhang Yuhua, deputy commander in chief and deputy chief designer of the Chang'e-3 rover system, who said the Cheng'e-5 is being developed and will land on the moon by 2020, China National Radio reported on Friday.

Xinhua - Global Times
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