Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Monday, October 04, 2010

China Launches Second Moon Mission - Oct 1, 2010

I missed this on the evening news here in the USA.
Maybe you saw an announcement.
Watching for arrival at the Moon
- LRK -

China Launches Second Moon Mission
[CCTV YouTube clip]

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.


Launching over land has its risk.
Over water you have to chase boats away.
Over land hope for debris in a field.
- LRK -

China Lunar Rocket Launched Successfully, but Rained Debris on Villages

China successfully launched its second lunar probe on Friday, taking another step towards its goal of becoming a full-fledged space power. The probe, named Chang’e-2, made several maneuvers over the weekend to correct its trajectory, and is expected to reach the moon’s orbit this week.

The first Chang’e probe (they’re named after a Chinese moon goddess)  orbited the moon for 16 months before self-destructing in a controlled impact with the lunar surface. This second craft is expected to return better data, because it will orbit closer to the surface than its predecessor and carries a higher resolution camera.

Chang’e-2 will orbit 100 kilometers above the moon’s surface and drop down to 15 kilometers on a mission to take detailed pictures of a candidate landing area for a follow-on craft, Chang’e-3, that is expected to be launched toward the end of 2014 or early 2015. [Science Insider]


While Chang’e-2 seems to be coasting serenely towards the moon, things have been a little more chaotic on the ground back in China. Last night, residents of two villages in Jiangxi, China heard rocket debris crashing back to Earth.

Villagers in the area awoke last night to quite a ruckus, thinking that an earthquake was underway. Upon exploration, they instead found what appears to be a sizeable chunk of the rocket used to launch Chang’e II toward the moon in a launch on Friday. Fortunately, the debris fell harmlessly onto rural land, injuring no one and causing no property damage. Had the space junk rained down on one of China’s many densely packed population centers who knows what might have happened?
[Popular Science]

Have hard hat, looking up.
For only $134 million, maybe someone else would like to orbit the Moon.
- LRK -

China Launches Second Robotic Moon Probe
By Staff

posted: 01 October 2010
09:28 am ET

An unmanned moon probe blasted off from China Friday (Oct. 1) to begin the country's next phase of lunar exploration and set the stage for even more ambitious spaceflights to come.

The Chinese moon probe, called Chang'e 2, launched at 6:59:57 a.m. EDT (1059:57 GMT) from the Xichang Space Center in southwestern China's Sichuan province, according to state media reports. It should take about five days for the spacecraft to enter orbit around the moon.

The Chang'e 2 spacecraft soared into space atop one of China's Long March 3C rockets. It launched on Oct. 1, National Day in China – a holiday that commemorates the 61st anniversary of Communist rule in the country.

Chang'e 2 is the second step in China's three-phase Chang'e moon exploration program, which is named after China's mythical moon goddess. Chang'e 2 will test out technology and collect data on possible landing sites for the Chang'e 3 spacecraft, which is scheduled to land on the moon in 2013, China's state-run Xinhua News Agency has reported.

According to media reports, the mission has a cost of about $134 million.


Another slant.
- LRK -

China Launches Second Lunar Exploration Probe, Chang’e-2
2 October, 2010

In an apparent effort to establish the country as a major space power, China launched its second lunar exploration probe yesterday. The new programme will allow China to send a man on the moon in the future. State media reported that the Chang'e-2 lunar orbiter blasted off from southwestern province of Sichuan a few seconds before 7 p.m.

"Chang'e-2 lays foundation for the soft-landing on the moon and further exploration of outer space," head of the orbiter's design team Wu Weiren was quoted as saying by Xinhua."It (will) travel faster and closer to the moon, and it will capture clear pictures," Wu added. The live pictures of the launch were relayed on the state television.

Chinese exploration is expected to fly as close as 15 km above the moon. The mission will test skills and technology, which will ultimately to pave the way for an unmanned landing planned in about 2013. The official China Daily said that the Chang 2 will take high-resolution photos of the moon's Bay of Rainbows. Chinese space scientists are planning to land Chang 3 on Bay of Rainbows.


Dusting off the Chinese dictionary.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.
- LRK -

Web Site:
Comments accepted here -
RSS link:
Moon Landing

A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned (robotic) missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on September 13, 1959.[3] The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon on July 20, 1969.[4]


Proposed future missions
Main article: List of future lunar missions

The most recently launched lunar orbiter is China's Chang'e 2, which was launched in early October 2010. China is also planning to land motorized rovers and collect samples in the Chang'e 3 and Chang'e 4 missions and return lunar soil samples by 2018.[26]

Russia's Luna-Glob 1 expected to be launched in 2012. In 2007 the head of the Russian Space Agency announced plans to send cosmonauts to the Moon by 2025 and establish a permanent manned base there in 2027-2032.[27]

ISRO, the Indian National Space agency, has announced the Chandrayaan program for Lunar exploration. The second mission Chandrayaan II plans to land a motorised rover by 2013.

The Google Lunar X Prize competition offers a $20 million award for the first privately funded team to land a robotic probe on the Moon. Like the Ansari X Prize before it, the competition aims to advance the state of the art in private space exploration.[28]

The Planetary Society Blog
By Emily Lakdawalla

Chang'E 2 launches to the Moon
Oct. 1, 2010 | 09:31 PDT | 16:31 UTC

Congratulations to China! Chang'E 2 successfully lifted off at 10:59:57 UTC today, October 1, 2010 aboard a Long March 3C rocket. Unlike its predecessor, Chang'E 2 rocketed directly to a lunar transfer orbit and will arrive at the Moon only 112 hours after launch (according  to the Xinhua news agency). That would put its lunar arrival at about 03:00 on Wednesday, October 6. Here is some really terrific video coverage of the launch from CCTV. I'm sorry that it autoplays; I can't figure out how to prevent it from doing that.

[Video runs when you open for 31:12 minutes:seconds - a lot of comments - more still images below as well. - LRK -]
[If you watch the video you will be amused at the lack of understanding of rocket technology by one of the reporters.]

Villagers stunned after pieces of Chinese rocket from lunar probe rain
down from the sky

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 8:47 PM on 4th October 2010

At first these Chinese villagers thought the two large explosions in the middle of the night were an earthquake.

But they awoke the next morning to see their village in Suichuan County in Jiangxi dotted with huge pieces of metal.

These images show the scene in their rural village after the rocket from China's second lunar mission crashed to Earth, narrowly missing crushing their homes.

[Looks like the nose fairing after separation dropped to Earth - LRK -]



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