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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

China's spacecraft successfully landed on the Moon

Chang'e-3, the China's spacecraft was successfully landed on the Moon on Saturday night, Desember 14, 2013 at local time. The success marks the first time China's spacecraft landed on the Moon.

Chang'e-3 start a soft landing on the Moon on Saturday night around 21:00 China's time. Chang'e-3 then landed in Sinus Iridum, or Bays of Rainbow, Moon, 11 minutes after the soft landing process.

During the landing process, Chang'e-3 start slowing down and at an altitude of 15 km above the lunar surface , then hang on to an altitude of 100 meters to evaluate landing locations before finally conducted a successful landing.
Chang'e-3, the China's spacecraft successfully landed on the Moon on Saturday night, December 14, 2013. (Picture from: http://www.news.cn/)
With this successful landing, China became the third country after the United States and the former Soviet Union that landed on the Moon. Chang'e-3 landing mission is aided by the detector that was more advanced than the one that used in Apollo mission, so it could evaluate the landing sites with more detailed and precise.
The photo of the Chang'e-3 moon lander taken by the camera on the Yutu moon rover during the mutual-photograph process, at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 15, 2013. The moon rover and the moon lander took photos of each other Sunday night, marking the complete success of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe mission. (Picture from: http://news.xinhuanet.com/)
According to Wu Weiren, the head of China's moon mission program planning, that the landing is the most important stage in the Chang'e-3 mission. China relying on the auto-control to measure the speed, determination of the landing site, and at the time of free fall motion.
The photo of the Yutu moon rover taken by the camera on the Chang'e-3 moon lander during the mutual-photograph process, at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 15, 2013. The moon rover and the moon lander took photos of each other Sunday night, marking the complete success of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe mission. (Picture from: http://news.xinhuanet.com/)
In order for a smooth landing, China's spacecraft is equipped with a pressure reducer in its four "legs". China's Chang'e-3 spacecraft itself was first designed has "legs". It also adopted various booster engine whose designed by Chinese engineers.

Chang'e-3 also equipped with a six-wheeled lunar rover named Yutu. Later, Yutu charge of investigating the geological structure of the Moon and its natural resources. Yutu will be stay on the Moon for a year while Chang'e only 3 months.

Chang'e-3 is the second part of the target of China's space missions, which include the process of orbiting, landing on celestial bodies other than Earth, and return to Earth. The success of Chang'e-3 mission following the success of Chang'e-1 mission in 2007 and Chang'e-2 in 2010.

Sun Huixian, deputy chief engineer who handles Chang'e mission, said that the success of the landing shows the China's power in the world's space technology. Chang'e was the first spacecraft to land on the Moon after the end of the Apollo missions in the 1970s.

"Compared to the space exploration competition between the United States and the former Soviet Union last century, back to the Moon landing this time will be based on the curiosity of the unknown parts of the universe," said Sun was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

In addition to scientific meaning, the Chinese mission to the Moon also means the Chinese cultural viewpoint. In the legend, there was a woman named Chang'e who brought her pet, Yutu, going to the Moon, and eventually became a goddess.

"Outside of scientific exploration, the Moon spacecraft is the response of the Chinese traditional culture and imagination. The china's missions to the Moon will continue with the beautiful legend," said Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University.

Chang'e landed after 12 days of release from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan. New facts about the Moon in the near future can be revealed through the contribution of one of these Asian giants. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | XINHUA | KCCI]
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