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Emily LakdawallaNovember 5, 2007

Chang'e 1 is now in orbit!

At 03:37 UTC today, Chinese mission controllers successfully commanded the Chang'e 1 spacecraft into lunar orbit, according to chinaview.cn. There are now two spacecraft orbiting the Moon, Chang'e 1 and Kaguya, and China is now a member of the very small club of nations who have built something and launched it to another world. Congratulations to China!

Chang'e 1 enters lunar orbit

Xinhua news agency

Chang'e 1 enters lunar orbit
Mission controllers at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center guided China's first satellite to leave Earth, Chang'e 1, into lunar orbit on November 5, 2007.
I didn't see any other siginificant news on that site to report. While I'm talking about the lunar missions though, I'll also mention that Kaguya continues to report successes; you can download a presentation (PDF format) that shows more images taken by the onboard camera, documenting successful deployments of several science instruments: the lunar magnetometer extended its 12-meter-long mast; the lunar radar sounder extended four 15-meter antennas; and the Upper Atmosphere and Plasma Imager, UPI, was deployed on its gimbal. I'm still waiting to see what Kaguya's vaunted HD camera will send back from the Moon!

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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