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Emily LakdawallaSeptember 30, 2010

Chang'E 2 launches in less than 24 hours, weather permitting

Here are a few photos of Chang'E 2 meeting its launch vehicle in Xichang, which I got from this lovely slide show. It's a beautiful view of the spacecraft. I don't see any obvious lump or bump that could be a probe or impactor mounted on it—but there is one face of the cube-shaped spacecraft (apart from its base, which is attached to the launch rocket)—that is not shown in the photos. Maybe it's attached over there.

Chang'E 2 prepares for launch

SINA.com

Chang'E 2 prepares for launch
The Chang'E 2 lunar orbiter meets its launch vehicle, preparing for an October 1 launch.

The People's Daily website appears to be doing a huge amount of live news and coverage in Chinese; there is a small amount of information available on their English-language website. CNTV has a more updated English-language website. The launch is supposed to happen on October 1 at 19:00 local time / 11:00 UTC / 04:00 my time—that is, in fewer than 18 hours—but some of the Google translated messages on the People's Daily website seem to indicate foul weather in the area. I'm not sure though.

Read more: mission status, Chang'E program

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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