China’s first lunar satellite lands on moon

March 1st, 2009 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 1 (Xinhua) China’s first lunar probe, the Chang’eI, ended its 16-month mission with a controlled crash-landing on the surface of the moon early Sunday, officials said.
According to sources with the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, the lunar satellite impacted the moon at 4:13 p.m. (Beijing time).

The satellite under remote control by two observation and control stations in east China’s Qingdao and northwest China’s Kashi hit the lunar surface at 1.50 degrees south latitude and 52.36 degrees east longitude.

This was the first phase of China’s three-stage moon mission, which will lead to a landing and launch of a rover vehicle around 2012.

Chang’e-1 was launched into space Oct 24, 2007 and sent the first full map of the moon’s surface back to China one month later.

A dozen performance tests were carried out while the satellite was in orbit to find out its orbit adjustment capability.

Chang’e is named after a legendary Chinese moon goddess.

In 2003, China staged its first manned mission, becoming only the third country after Russia and the US to launch a person into space. Last year, it claimed a new landmark with its first space walk.

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