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Chang'e-2 enters lunar orbit
Posted: Thu, Oct 7, 2010, 6:36 AM ET (1036 GMT)
Chang'e-2 illustration (CNSA) China's second lunar orbiter entered orbit around the Moon on Wednesday, five days after launch. The Chang'e-2 spacecraft fired its engines Wednesday for approximately half an hour, placing the spacecraft into an elliptical 12-hour orbit around the Moon. Two more thruster firings are planned to lower the spacecraft into a circular 100-kilometer orbit around the Moon. China launched Chang-e'2 on Friday, placing the spacecraft on a translator trajectory that brought the spacecraft to the Moon in five days. The orbiter, following up on the Chang'e-1 mission launched in 2007, will operate at a lower orbit than its predecessor and provide higher resolution images and other data. China plans to follow up this mission with its first lunar lander in about 2013.
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