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

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST)

Excuse the delay in mentioning the launch of China's Moon Lander mission.(visited relatives for Thanksgiving). 
I hope you have already seen the news so will just post a few links for historical reference.
- LRK -

Chang’e-3: Chinese lunar rover heading to the Moon
December 1, 2013 by Rui C. Barbosa

The Chinese have begun their most ambitious lunar mission to date, following the successful launch their Long March 3B rocket carrying the Chang’e-3 probe and Yutu lunar rover. Launch was on schedule at 17:30 UTC on Sunday, taking place from the LC2 Launch Complex at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. 

Chinese Moon Mission:

The Chang’e-3 mission is the second phase of China’s lunar program, a program that includes orbiting, landing and sample return ambitions. It is aiming to follow the successes of the Chang’e-1 and Chang’e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010.

The Chang’e-3 mission couples a lander and the rover, advancing China’s exploration ambitions exponentially.

With a launch mass of 3,780 kg, the lander is equipped with a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to power the lunar operations during the three-month mission.

The energy will be used to power the scientific payload of seven instruments and cameras. The main instrument is the Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope. This will be used to observe galaxies and other celestial objects

SpaceRef post back on December 1, 2013.
- LRK -

China's Chang'e-3 Heads For The Moon
Posted by Keith Cowing - Source: SpaceRef
Posted December 1, 2013 1:15 PM

China's Chang'e-3 lunar rover Yutu ("Jade rabbit") left Earth today aboard a Long March IIIB rocket today. Liftoff occurred at 12:30 pm EST from Xichang launch facility in in China's Sichuan province.

Chang'e-3 will take approximately four days to reach the Moon and will enter orbit on or around 6 December. A week or so later Change'e-3's large landing stage will deliver the Yutu rover to a landing site in Sinus Iridum. The current expected landing date is 14 December.

The Yutu rover will operate on the lunar surface for several months while the landing stage will operate for up to a year.

Some photos at SpaceRef.
- LRK -

Launch Photos: China's Chang'e 3 Moon Rover Mission Blasts Off
by Tariq Malik, Managing Editor   |   December 01, 2013 01:04pm ET
China's Chang'e 3 Moon Mission Launches
Credit: CCTV
China's first-ever moon landing mission, called Chang'e 3, will include the first Chinese rover ever to set down on an extraterrestrial landscape. See images from the Chang'e 3/Yutu rover mission's launch here.

Here, a Chinese Long March 3B rocket launches China's first moon rover Yutu (Jade Rabbit) on the Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 2, 2013 local time (Dec. 1 EST) in this still image from a CCTV broadcast. [Read the Full Launch Story for China's 1st Moon Rover Mission]
It will be most interesting to see the reactions from around the world. 

Thanks for looking up with me.  
- LRK -
Moon Treaty
The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies,[2] better known as the Moon Treaty or Moon Agreement, is an international treaty that turns jurisdiction of all celestial bodies (including the orbits around such bodies) over to the international community. Thus, all activities must conform to international law (notably this includes the UN Charter).
In practice it is a failed treaty since it has not been ratified by any nation which engages in self-launched manned space exploration or has plans to do so (e.g. the United States, some member states of the European Space AgencyRussian FederationPeople's Republic of China,Japan, and India) since its creation in 1979, and thus has a negligible effect on actual spaceflight. As of 2013, it has been ratified by 15 states.[1]

The treaty was finalized in 1979 and entered into force for the ratifying parties in 1984. As a follow-on to the Outer Space Treaty, the Moon Treaty intended to establish a regime for the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies similar to the one established for the sea floor in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The L5 Society successfully defeated the treaty in the US Senate.[3]
As of 2013, only 15 states (AustraliaAustriaBelgiumChileKazakhstanLebanonMexicoMoroccoNetherlandsPakistanPeruPhilippinesSaudi ArabiaTurkey,[4][5] and Uruguay) have ratified it.[1] FranceGuatemalaIndia and Romania have signed but have not ratified it.[1][6]
Why China is fixated on the Moon
David Shukman
29 November 2013 Last updated at 09:38 ET
The Moon could be a "beautiful" source of minerals and energy, a top Chinese scientist has told the BBC.

Exotic materials including helium-3 and the potential for solar power could prove invaluable for humankind, he says.

The comments come from Prof Ouyang Ziyuan of the department of lunar and deep space exploration.

His first interview with the foreign media provides insights into China's usually secretive space programme.

Prof Ouyang was speaking ahead of the first Chinese attempt to land an unmanned spacecraft on the lunar surface.

The Chang'e 3 lander is due to launch imminently, perhaps as soon as Sunday evening, UK time.

It will be the first to make a soft touchdown on the Moon since an unmanned Russian mission in 1976

China's moon landing next month is trouble for NASA
By Leonard David
Published November 25, 2013  

China's mission to robotically land on the moon next month is sure to stir up lunar dust, but it may also cause a political dustup, too.

China is in the final stages of preparing its robotic Chang'e 3 moon lander to launch atop a Long March 3B rocket, slated for liftoff in early December. The ambitious mission is built to first orbit the moon, then propel down to a landing site, after which a small, solar-powered lunar rover will be unleashed.

Already on duty orbiting the moon is NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). The probe's science instrument commissioning is now underway, after which the spacecraft will drop down to the lower lunar science orbit and start the full science phase of the mission. [NASA's LADEE Moon Mission in Photos]



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