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October 23, 2017 - China Goes Lunar

China Goes Lunar  In 2007, China joined a handful of countries who have sent a satellite to orbit the Moon. Ten years ago this week, the Chinese National Space Administration launched the Chang’e 1 spacecraft (named after the Chinese Moon goddess) from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Twelve days after launch, Chang’e 1 entered lunar orbit, and it began relaying images of the lunar surface, such as this one, back to Earth about a month after launch. Just over a year into the mission, China released a map of the entire lunar surface which was the highest resolution 3-D Moon map to date (since surpassed by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data). Chang’e 1 remained in orbit until March 2009. Its successor, Chang’e 2, also orbited the Moon, while Chang’e 3 landed a rover there in 2013.

Image credit: China National Space Administration

Weekly Calendar

October 23-29, 2017

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 23

1968: First powered flight of the HL-10 lifting body
2007: STS-120 Discovery launched
2012: Soyuz TMA-06M launched carrying ISS Expedition 33/34 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 24

Saturn 3° south of Moon
Moon at apogee

1851: William Lassell discovers Uranus moons Umbriel & Ariel
1946: First photo of Earth taken from space
: 199th and final X-15 flight
1998: Deep Space 1 launched
2001: Mars Odyssey arrives at Mars
2007: Chang'e-1 lunar spacecraft launched

Moon phase Wednesday 25

1671: Giovanni Cassini discovers Iapetus, moon of Saturn
1877: Henry Norris Russell born
1975: Venera 10 lands on Venus
2006: STEREO spacecraft launched

Moon phase Thursday 26

Jupiter in conjunction with Sun

1977: Fifth and final glide test of Space Shuttle Enterprise
2004: Cassini spacecraft completes first flyby of Titan

Moon phase Friday 27

First Qtr Moon 6:22 PM ET

1961: SA-1 launched, first Saturn rocket
2003: ISS Expedition 7 crew returns to Earth after 184 days in orbit

Moon phase Saturday 28

Pallas at opposition

1971: Britain launches its first satellite
1974: Luna 23 launched
2009: Ares I-X test flight

Moon phase Sunday 29

1964: First flight of Lunar Landing Research Vehicle
1987: Cosmos 1894 becomes 2,000th satellite
1991: Galileo flies past Gaspra
1998: STS-95 Discovery launched

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