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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Earth & Moon > Lunar Exploration > Chang'e program
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GravityWaves
Lunar Programme To Be Open To World
Although China is still in the "initial stage" in tapping the moon and outer space when compared with the United States, Russia and Europe, the nation is catching up, Luan said.
http://www.spacedaily.com/dragonspace.html
The first phase of the Chang'e Project was solely accomplished by China through its own technology, products and designs, said Luan, former director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
However, lunar scientists from Europe, the United States and Russia have expressed their willingness to co-operate with China in its research of the moon and deep space exploration, he said.

Chinese scientists are assembling, integrating and testing to ensure that the mission of the nation's first lunar explorer, Chang'e-1, goes smoothly, a top space official said yesterday.
http://english.people.com.cn/200607/26/eng...726_286707.html
"Fundamental development has been achieved in all five related systems ranging from the satellite, the rocket, tracking and control, ground applications and the launch centre since it was approved two years ago," said Sun Laiyan, head of the China National Space Administration.
The lunar orbiter is scheduled to blast off next year from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, Sun said at the ongoing eighth International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) Conference in Beijing.

The spacecraft will be 2350 kilograms in weight.
According to the plan, the program will go through four phases.

1. Send a satellite to orbit the Moon
2. Conduct exploration on the surface of the moon through the soft landing of a detector.
3. Collect Moon surface samples using a robot, which will then return to the Earth.
4. Manned missions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang'e_program
According to the schedule, detailed program design of the first step will be completed by September 2004. Research and development of a prototype probe and relevant testing of the probe will be finished before the end of 2005. Design, manufacture, general assembly, test and ground experiments of the lunar probe satellite will be finished before December 2006. In 2007 the Chang'e 1 will blast off.
climber
Here's the link to China's lunar program : http://210.82.31.82
Home page is nice where you can see foot prints crossing the moon as well as Chang'E nice logo. I red that the Logo "CLEP" look like the pictogram "Yue" which means "Moon".
Not very informative but nice to see.
Enjoy
PhilCo126
Well the Chinese will certainly get to the Moon, as their hardware is Soyuz-based and the Russians are working to re-engineer the Soyuz vehicle to last for another century ohmy.gif ... Héh even for a lunar mission ohmy.gif
GravityWaves
'People's Daily Opinion'
http://english.people.com.cn/200702/07/eng...207_348107.html
Why does China want to probe moon?

QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ Oct 13 2006, 02:29 PM) *
Well the Chinese will certainly get to the Moon, as their hardware is Soyuz-based and the Russians are working to re-engineer the Soyuz vehicle to last for another century ohmy.gif ... Héh even for a lunar mission ohmy.gif


Soyuz sized rockets can also launch small-medium sized probes like Russia's Venera or Europe's Venus-Express, the Chinese LongMarch rocket family may be used for upcoming interplanetary missions
NMRguy
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6423323.stm

A short story from BBC. China looks to launch Chang'e before the end of the year.
yaohua2000
QUOTE (NMRguy @ Mar 7 2007, 04:08 PM) *
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6423323.stm

A short story from BBC. China looks to launch Chang'e before the end of the year.


In fact, the launch is only 40 days away. Chang'e 1 will be blasted off on April 18, can vary by ±1 day.
elakdawalla
That was the plan, but the latest information I've heard is that it won't be until October at least. (This is from Lou Friedman, who got it through personal communication with folks in China.)

--Emily
dvandorn
You know what I find really fascinating? I'm pretty sure that, given subtle changes in how we transliterate Chinese names these days, Chang'e is named after the same character described by the Houston Capcom to the Apollo 11 crew the morning of Landing Day, July 20, 1969:

QUOTE
Houston: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, there's one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-o has been living there for 4000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported.

Collins: Okay. We'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.


biggrin.gif

-the other Doug
edstrick
Perhaps the most interesting data from Chang'e will be the microwave radiometry. Thermo-physical mapping of the moon has been rather neglected since the classic 1960's thermal imagery during a total lunar eclipse showed high-rock abundance areas as "anomalies" due to their higher thermal inertias. The microwave radiometry will penetrate deeper and give some idea of the diurnal temperature variations at probably a few centimeters depth, and thus the density/thermal-conductivity or some such measure of regolith.

Nobody else seems to have been or be planning long wavelength infrared or microwave radiometry and they'll get a unique dataset. (I think one of the other missions, maybe Recon Orbiter or the Japanese Selene may have infrared radiometry/spectrometry at long enough wavelengths to get the pre-dawn signal, but I think most IR work is in the short wave <mostly> reflected IR data.

Apollo 17 carried an scanning IR radiometer, but the PI basically abandoned the data without producing any science results and some attempt later in the 80's or so ran into problems getting the data or something... Somebody tried but I never heard of results.
remcook
Lunar Diviner will go up to 200 micron...

http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/Master...UNARRO&ex=2
edstrick
"Lunar Diviner will go up to 200 micron"

Excellent. That covers temperature ranges of cold high latitude regolith at pre-dawn temperatures.

The multispectral capabilities give them some real ability to sort out rock and "fines" populations on the basis of different temperatures, much the way Viking and follow-on Mars orbiters have done thermal inertia maps, and then "fines thermal inertia" and rock abundance maps.

You have to go to much longer wavelengths to probe below the surface "monolayer" of grains, which the chinese instrument appears to be planned. Later missions need to fly decimeter and meter wavelength sounding instrumentes (like Sharad, and Marsis), together with real ability to measure sub-surface thermal emissions, which may give the ability to observe and map regional heat flow abilities.
AlexBlackwell
Excerpt from the June 11, 2007, issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology:

QUOTE
World News & Analysis
China Delays Moon Mission
Aviation Week & Space Technology
06/11/2007, page 31

Craig Covault
Cape Canaveral and Houston

Chinese problems thrust Japan to forefront in Asian Moon race

Printed headline: Moon Mission Delay

China will postpone its first unmanned mission to the Moon by at least 5-6 months, a delay that under current scheduling means Japan will beat China to lunar orbit with a far more ambitious triple-spacecraft launch.
kenny
Chang'e launch appears to be imminent. The craft is at the launch site (I don' think they mean pad) and they're selling tickets to Chinese nationals to watch it for about $100.

Buy Chang'e launch tickets

and Leonard David's blog says it will launch by the end of October

Leonard David blog

Kenny
ustrax
QUOTE (kenny @ Oct 13 2007, 10:16 AM) *
Chang'e launch appears to be imminent...


One of this days they'll get us all by surprise when they announce the launch of the first human towards Mars... wink.gif
nprev
QUOTE (kenny @ Oct 13 2007, 02:16 AM) *
Chang'e launch appears to be imminent. The craft is at the launch site (I don' think they mean pad) and they're selling tickets to Chinese nationals to watch it for about $100.


Huh. Well, it seems that we should have at least a week's notice before launch, then; gotta give people time to get there, make reservations, etc.
yaohua2000
QUOTE (nprev @ Oct 14 2007, 09:06 AM) *
Huh. Well, it seems that we should have at least a week's notice before launch, then; gotta give people time to get there, make reservations, etc.


I booked a seat last Friday, and they told me I will be notified 3 days before the launch.
nprev
Thanks for the info, Yao.

Gee, that's sure not much time to arrange travel & find accomodations, though; hopefully there are a lot of hotels nearby & good transportation available to the site.
SpaceListener
Does the China Agency Space follow same rules as the NASA for launching rockets? No cloudy, no much winds, and so forth

However, I have checked the weather forecast for Xichang city up to October 25. From now up to Oct 25, there will be showers and light rain. The precipitation chance does not lower than 60% for all these days.

10-Day Business Travel Forecast for Xichang, China.
kenny
Now they have narrowed down and announced the date for next week...

Chang'e launch news item
yaohua2000
QUOTE (SpaceListener @ Oct 16 2007, 06:19 AM) *
Does the China Agency Space follow same rules as the NASA for launching rockets? No cloudy, no much winds, and so forth

However, I have checked the weather forecast for Xichang city up to October 25. From now up to Oct 25, there will be showers and light rain. The precipitation chance does not lower than 60% for all these days.

10-Day Business Travel Forecast for Xichang, China.


The space center is located 45 km northeast to Xichang city, however.
tedstryk
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071022/ap_on_...8FC6.RQ7VSs0NUE

Not much longer now!
yaohua2000
I have arrived in Xichang city at 2007-10-24 08:02 CST (2007-10-24 00:02 UTC) this morning, and will take bus to the satellite launch center at noon.

It was raining lightly here this morning, but now the sun is shining. Hope it launch on time.
mchan
It would be good if you can blog the launch. The things that go on in a Chinese launch would be interesting to hear about in comparison to other launches.
4th rock from the sun
China's CCTV-9 channel is broadcasting live rolleyes.gif
http://www.cctv.com/english/index.shtml
ngunn
QUOTE (4th rock from the sun @ Oct 24 2007, 10:24 AM) *
China's CCTV-9 channel is broadcasting live


Tried, but can't get that on our system. Can you post what's happening?
Toma B
FLASH: CHINA'S LUNAR PROBE CHANG'E-1 BLASTS OFF

China launched its first lunar probe on Wednesday, first step into its ambitious three-stage moon mission, marking a new milestone in the country´s space exploration history.

According to Xinhua

Congratulations China!!! laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
4th rock from the sun
I'm watching via satellite :-) So far so good, nice 3d rendered real time animation of the probe as is flies over the tracking stations and ships. The probe has now separated from the booster and all seems ok! The animations show telemetry exchanges from and to the probe from tracking ships over the Pacific, and the probe doing course corrections.

Low earth orbit is achieved!
Toma B
First image of the launch!

Click to view attachment

Full video of the launch can be seen here

Full video of the launch is now avaiable...
kenny
The spacecraft is now in a high earth orbit in preparation for subsequnet trans-lunar engine firings....

Xinhua says: "The Chang'e-1 moon orbiter has entered into a 16-hour orbit at 205 km perigee and 50,930 km apogee, statistics from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) shows. The 2,300-kg satellite will experience four accelerations and is expected to enter earth-moon transfer orbit on Oct. 31 and arrive in the moon's orbit on Nov. 5. "
ustrax
Congratulations to the People's Republic of China! biggrin.gif



Why do I have this funny feeling that this is just the beggining of something extraordinary?... smile.gif
remcook
everyone's going back to the moon! yay!
NMRguy
We indeed seem to be off to our second Renaissance of lunar exploration. I welcome the exposure and interest to our nearest neighbor. biggrin.gif

Here's a spacedaily.com article.
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Asias_sp..._probe_999.html
Toma B
Latest News:

China's first lunar probe Chang'e-1 solar panels was unfolded as planned.
GravityWaves
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5262

QUOTE
By Rui C. Barbosa, 10/24/2007 5:08:55 AMAt the beginning of a 35 minute launch window that opened at 10:05 UTC, a CZ-3A Chang Zheng-3A (CZ3A-15) was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, located in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, carrying the first Chinese lunar probe, Chang'e-1 (ChangEr-1).
....
After leaving Earth orbit on October 31, Chang'e-1 will initiate a five day journey until arrive into lunar orbit on November 5. The first image of the surface is expected at the end of November.



Upcoming robotic Lunar landers and Sample returns ?

QUOTE
With this, China has three objectives: to orbit the Moon, to land on the Moon and to return a sample of the Moon. These objectives will be achieved by, firstly, to launch Chang'e-1 to orbit the Moon, secondly, to launch a spacecraft that will deploy a lunar lander to explore the lunar surface, and thirdly, to implement a sample return mission on the basis of the previous spacecraft.


Details of Chang'e instruments and objectives

QUOTE
The scientific objectives of Chang'e-1 are to obtain three-dimensional images of the lunar surface, precisely ascertain the basic structures and physiognomy of the lunar surface, and to initially map out the lunar geology and structural elements to provide information for the follow-on soft landing.

Objectives also include the ability to detect and analyze the content and distribution of useful elements and types of materials on the lunar surface; to detect the characteristics of lunar soil and calculate the depth of lunar soil on the surface; to explore the space environment between the earth and the moon, and to record initial solar wind data and study the effect of solar activities on earth-moon space environment.

The Chinese probe is equipped with six payloads, with a total of 25 devices in eight instruments. These include and optical imaging system (CCD stereo camera and interferometer spectrometer imager), laser altimeter, Gamma and X-Ray spectrometers, Microwave detector, a space environment monitoring system (with a high-energy solar particle detector and a low-energy ion detector), and a system for the payload data management.

To achieve all its objectives, the Chang'e-1 will have to be manoeuvred to a specific orbital path around the Moon. The probe will achieve a low lunar polar orbit within altitudes of 100 km to 200 km.


There is also talk of a new line of Heavy Lift Rockets. Might not be long before we see some manned circumlunar flight in the Shenzhou, I wonder if they will be reading from Genesis or Leon Trotskiy's books ? laugh.gif
charborob
QUOTE (remcook @ Oct 24 2007, 07:25 AM) *
everyone's going back to the moon! yay!


I'm also excited about this so-called "Moon race", but I am keeping a wait-and-see attitude concerning Chang'e. Secretive as the Chinese are, we may only get a few spectacular pictures published for propaganda purposes, and not much else. I hope not, because after 35 years of waiting, I'm starved!
tedstryk
I hope this is the beginning of a sustained effort by China.
remcook
so far the chinese have kept their promises and their schedule doesn't look too insane, though there's bound to be some slips. they seem to have a quite ambituous, but realistic program.
nprev
smile.gif Congrats & a big thank you to the people of China! Looking forward to the imagery...
Paolo
very nice ed on the Asian Moon race in today's Nature
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/...ll/450002a.html
manned exploration fans beware! smile.gif
yaohua2000
Trip to Xichang, part 1
ustrax
In orbit! smile.gif
PhilCo126
Moreover: ESA transmits first-ever telecommands to Chinese lunar satellite:
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMQVVMHE8F_index_0.html
ph34r.gif
charborob
Chang'e-1 reaches its final working orbit.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/...ent_7023941.htm
RJG
yaohua2000,

That's one heck of a train journey! Glad you made it. Look forward to the next installment.

Rob
charborob
China to publish first picture of the Moon in 3 days.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/...ent_7133451.htm
Phil Stooke
Here it is:

http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620682/n639462/132125.html

Phil
ngunn
I'm having no luck getting that picture. Anybody else managed it?
djellison
The direct link ( http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620682/n63...ges/1798638.jpg ) is slightly more reliable - but still exceptionally slow - first one to get it in full, attach it to a post here

Doug
nprev
Got it. Now if I could only read the caption... sad.gif
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