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Emily LakdawallaDecember 6, 2013

Chang'e 3 has arrived in lunar orbit

Just a quick update: via Xinhua news (in English), Chang'e 3 successfully entered lunar orbit today at 09:53 UTC, after a 361-second lunar orbit insertion burn.

Next steps for the mission, from this report (in Chinese, with helpful translation from a member of nasaspaceflight.com):

Lunar landing is planned at 15:22-15:35 UTC on December 14.

The rover should be deployed from the lander at 20:38-22:21 UTC on the same day.

Then some time within the communication window on December 15 at 07:21-15:38 UTC, the lander and rover will photograph each other.

Mark your calendars! Here's an infographic about the mission -- in Chinese, of course. Anybody want to translate it? Here is the original PDF.

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Read more: mission status, Chang'E program, Chang'e 3

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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