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Chang'e 3 prelaunch through lunar orbit insertion, Lander instruments, capability, development, testing, launch
Cosmic Penguin
post Mar 8 2013, 12:40 PM
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Just saw a Chinese news report interviewing the person in charge of rocket production for the CE-3 launch (plus others of the same series) that the launch is scheduled in early December! laugh.gif (Chinese source)

Also I have translated another article a week before that roughly gives out the tests that have been completed and still needs to be done before launch (Chinese source):

Completed

- Flight hardware development and acceptance
- Lander / rover final assembly and combined testing
- Electromagnetic compatibility tests
- Lander / rover separation and release testing
- Mechanical force testing

Coming up

- Thermal balance and vacuum testing
- Modal strength testing on key components (wheels and landing gears?)
- Mission simulation with the spacecraft control center at Beijing



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Phil Stooke
post Mar 8 2013, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for this. Late in the year is what had been expected for a few years, but I had been quite excited with the idea it might happen in June! Anyway it will be a very interesting mission. I hope we will get frequent updates on its activities.

Phil



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Cosmic Penguin
post Mar 16 2013, 09:05 AM
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Anyone have seen information (papers, abstracts, presentations etc.) about what is expected at Sinus Iridum (geology etc.) and the scientific operations on the Moon for CE-3? I had a cursory check on the planned presentations at LPSC 2013, and was disappointed to see only two dry.gif (and not quite what I am trying to find):

Studying on the Calibration Method for Chang’E-3 Pancam.


Relative position determination between lunar lander and rover using same beam VLBI technique.

I really wanted to see what can be expected for the first lunar in-situ exploration mission in almost 40 years...... ph34r.gif


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machi
post Mar 17 2013, 11:36 AM
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Cosmic Penguin:

This is pretty easy, you can find available sources via Google Scholar.
Here is geologic map of Sinus Iridum area - USGS IMAP602.


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Cosmic Penguin
post Mar 17 2013, 03:30 PM
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Heh, I was just ranting on the lack of information on the science instruments on Chang'e 3, and then I went to Google Scholar and found a bunch of them - I think members with access to these papers will find them interesting to read.

The links in italics are available to the general public.

(List will be updated as I find more related papers)

Lander

PanCam: (none found yet)

Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT): 1.

Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUV) (for plasmasphere studies): 1. 2.


Rover

PanCam: 1. 2.

VIS/NIR Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS): 1.

Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS): 1.

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR): 1. 2. 3.

Hope this helps. smile.gif


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Phil Stooke
post Apr 26 2013, 10:56 AM
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This report (right at the end):

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/04/chi...ch-2d-gaofen-1/

says Chang'E 3 will launch in December.

Phil



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Cosmic Penguin
post May 9 2013, 02:40 PM
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The Chinese are now doing the final major test - thermal testing - for the lander and rover right now (since sometime in April actually). And yes it seems that early December is what the Chinese are heading for the launch.

And I got a bunch of high-res photos of the spacecraft being processed for testing! Link smile.gif


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elakdawalla
post May 9 2013, 03:00 PM
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What's the provenance of those photos? They're watermarked "China Space News" but I don't find a website or organization called that, at least not in English. Can you link to the Chinese website that they originated from? Is it a Chinese language periodical? I see an Amazon listing for a magazine with that title.


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Paolo
post May 9 2013, 05:06 PM
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I think pics were first posted here http://210.82.31.84:9000/rp/fs/cp/98/36/20...4/content_0.htm
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Phil Stooke
post Jun 6 2013, 09:00 PM
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I've been preparing some graphics for Chang'E 3, and thinking about things a bit.

This is a map of the landing area:

Attached Image


It's a composite of LROC-WAC images from Quickmap and the Clementine false-color map, showing the dramatic difference in lava flow types in Mare Imbrium first noted by Ewen Whitaker in the 1960s. 'Blue' lavas overlie 'yellow' lavas. (I have cosmetically removed some small but ugly data gaps.) The white box is the Chang'E 3 landing area, often said to be just Sinus Iridum, but actually extending well outside it. This area is approximately 80% covered by Chang'E 2 images with resolution of about 1.5 to 2.0 m/pixel.

This is the only area of the Moon covered by Chang'E 2 at such high resolution. So it would seem to me that it is intended to serve as the landing area for future landers as well as Chang'E 3. Chang'E 4 is another rover scheduled for 2014 or 2015 (just a hunch - will it carry a GLXP secondary payload? - no official word yet, I am just surmising based on fragmentary public information). Chang'E 5 and 6 are sample return missions scheduled for approximately 2017 and 2018. If the sample return missions come here it would make lots of sense to have one in each lava flow type. The two preliminary rovers might be designed to do a bit of in situ analysis in each area in preparation for the later missions.

Another thought - the ground-penetrating radar on CE3 might detect the contact between the blue and yellow lavas if it lands in the blue unit.

Phil


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elakdawalla
post Jun 6 2013, 11:23 PM
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In the absence of much detailed scientific information it's nice to have such well-informed speculation smile.gif

Are those blue lavas the high-Ti basalts or something different?


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Phil Stooke
post Jun 6 2013, 11:35 PM
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Yes, Emily, they are high Ti.

Of course, you can't trust mere speculation!

Phil



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Cosmic Penguin
post Aug 7 2013, 12:46 PM
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Apparently the launch of Chang'e 3 is scheduled at ~17:00 UTC on December 1st! laugh.gif The information comes from a lecture by an astronomer at the Shanghai Observatory, which will use their 65 meter radio telescope to help track CE-3 on its way to the Moon.



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Phil Stooke
post Aug 7 2013, 08:18 PM
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Excellent news. Thanks for this. I am so looking forward to having something on the surface of the Moon again.

My next wish... is to learn of the exact landing target they are aiming for.

Phil



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tedstryk
post Aug 11 2013, 11:57 AM
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I'm just excited that we may be about to see the first lunar landing in my lifetime.


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