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China Mooncraft Settles into Lunar Orbit

Credit: Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering

Credit: Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System Engineering

China’s Chang’e 3 lunar probe has successfully entered lunar orbit.

Braking into a circular orbit around the Moon, the spacecraft is set to attempt a soft landing on moonscape in mid-December.

According to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) the craft is in a 100 km-high lunar circular orbit.

Launched early on Monday morning from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Chang’e 3 will now be readied to drop from its orbit and reportedly land within the Moon’s Sea of Rainbows.

If a safe and sound touchdown is achieved, the lander is set to deploy the “Yutu” (Jade Rabbit) lunar rover – a six-wheeled robot that is geared to reconnoiter the lunar surface for a projected three months.

By Leonard David

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