Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Update on Chang'e 1 launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

23-10-2007 22:02 CDT


I've just received an email from my friend Wang Chun, who says that after a train journey lasting two nights, he finally arrived in Xichang, home to China's launch complex, this morning. He said there is light rain falling, but that the official plans are to perform the launch of Chang'e 1 as expected tomorrow.

He sent some information that he sent about tomorrow's timeline. All times are CST, which is UTC plus 8 hours, or PDT plus 15 hours.

  • The rocket will be filled with cold fuel at 11:00.
  • The launch window is 35 min long.
  • The first signal will come back to the Earth 400 seconds after launch.
  • The spent launch vehicle (a Long March 3A rocket tat cost 200 million yuan, or about $27 million at today's exchange rate) will return to and impact with the Earth in Guizhou province.
  • The spacecraft will be placed into an Earth-Moon transfer orbit on October 31.

He also said that, the government-run China Central Television will broadcast the launch live. China's space program is young so I don't know if this is common procedure for them; but it's a great way to involve the public in the excitement of the launch! I hope it goes well, and that millions of Chinese are watching. The launch will be tracked by two ships, Yuanwang 3 and the newly commissioned Yuanwang 5.

The launch is supposed to happen tomorrow at 3:00 a.m. my time, and since I have been kept awake three nights in a row by howling Santa Ana winds (the same hot, dry winds that are whipping wildfires out of control across southern California), I do not plan to wake up for it. I'll tune in several hours later, hoping to see good news from China!

See other posts from October 2007


Or read more blog entries about:


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.


Featured Images

Comparison of Schiaparelli and Opportunity landing locations
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera image of Curiosity landing site
Schiaparelli landing site, after landing attempt
Ewen Whitaker
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Star Trek 50th Anniversary

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!