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Chang'e-1 crashes into Moon

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

Chinese and international media reported today that the Chinese Moon probe Chang'e-1 has ended its mission by a controlled crash with the surface of the Moon on the end of its 16 months lifetime.

Not much information has been released to the public about this mission after it was launched October 2007 but a few images has been released, most notably two and three dimensional lunar surface maps, and resource maps.

Who's Orbiting the Moon?

Earth-rise seen from Kaguya. Credits: JAXA/NHK

[NASA Press Release - 22.02.2008]
The space around Earth is a busy place, as teeming with traffic as a roundabout. More than 500 active satellites are bustling about up there right now. Some are transmitting radio, television, and telephone signals; others are gathering information about Earth's atmosphere and weather; still others are helping people navigate down here; and the rest are conducting space research.

China publishes first moon picture

First image of the Moon from Chang'e-1

[Xinhuanet Press Release - 26.11.2007]
China published the first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1 on Monday morning, marking the success of the country's first lunar probe project.

The area covered by the picture, about 460 kilometers in length and 280 km in width, was located within a 54 to 70 degrees south latitude and 57 to 83 degrees east longitude, according to the BACC. The area pictured was part of the moon's highland and was mainly composed of plagioclase, a common rock-forming element. On the surface were craters of different sizes, shapes, structures and ages, the BACC sources said.

China's first lunar probe enters moon orbit

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

[Xinhua Press Release - 05.11.2007]
China's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, successfully completed its first braking at perilune and entered the moon's orbit Monday morning, becoming China's first circumlunar satellite.

Chang'e-1, following the instructions of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC), started braking at 11:15 a.m. at a position around 300 km away from the moon and entered the moon's orbit at around 11:37 a.m. after completing the braking, according to the BACC.

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.

Chang'e 1 launch between October 22 and 25, Chinese lunar sample-return in 2013

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

Recently a lot of information on the upcoming launch of Chang'e-1 has become available. According to, Chang'e-1 will be launched between October 22 and 25. According to, the launch will take place at 18:05 CST, October 24th.

Also, Sun Laiyan, the director of the National Space Administration, released some detailed information from the 11th Five-Year Plan Period (2006-2010), about the future Chinese space exploration roadmap.

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