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China announces its second lunar mission a success

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The Chang'e-2 spacecraft was launched on Oct 1. A file photo

BEIJING (BNS): China on Monday officially announced its Chang’e-2 lunar probe mission a success.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, while unveiling the image of the Moon’s ‘Sinus Iridum’ or Bay of Rainbows region taken by Chang'e-2, marked the success of the country’s second lunar mission which was launched last month, the official Xinuha news agency reported.

The unmanned spacecraft was launched by a Long-March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China's Sichuan province on October 1.

The spacecraft travelled around 380,000-km to reach the Moon during which scientists made several orbit corrections to make it reach its designated lunar orbit.

The spacecraft successfully entered its working orbit after completing its third and final brake on October 9. It got further closer to Moon after entering into an experimental orbit on October 26 to take pictures of the Moon’s Bay of Rainbows region where its successor, the Chang’e-3 lunar rover, is slated to land in 2013.

The main mission of the Chang’e-2 probe was to test soft-landing technologies for Chang'e-3. The Chang'e-2 carried a laser altimeter and a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera capable of producing high-resolution 3-D images of the Moon.

China, under a three-phase Moon exploration roadmap, plans to land Chang'e-3 on the Moon in 2013 while its first manned Moon mission is expected to be launched in 2025.

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China  Moon  Lunar Probe  
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