Chang'e-1 launched!

Chang'e-1 in orbit around the Moon. Credits: CNSA

The Chinese Chang'e-1 lunar probe was successfully launched on a Long March 3A from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China's Sichuan Province on 5:05 a.m. October 24th (CST). It is named after the Chinese goddes of the Moon and is the first Chinese Lunar mission.

Chang'e-1 weighed 2350 kg on launch, of which approximately half was fuel. The payload suite weighs around 130 kg. Change'e-1 carries a scientific payload which will perform a wide variety of experiments from its orbit around the Moon. Within the mission duration of one year, Chang'e-1 will create a 3D model of the moon surface and determine the contents and distribution of a number of chemical elements on the lunar surface, among other things. It carries 7 instruments alltogether.

China’s milestone moon probe project only cost 1 to 1.4 billion yuan (about 133 to 187 million U.S. dollars). Chang’e 1 is the most sophisticated satellite China has built and maneuvered to date.

A collection of press releases, pictures and videos related to Chang'e-1 can be found at http://www.china.org.cn/english/china/229354.htm