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Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Chang'e 5 T1 rounds the lunar farside, returns lovely photo of Earth and the Moon together

Posted By Emily Lakdawalla

28-10-2014 11:15 CDT

Topics: Chang'E program

The Chang'e 5 test vehicle's short mission is more than half over. It has rounded the far side of the Moon and is on its way back to Earth for a planned October 31 test of lunar sample return technology. It's not a science mission -- it's an engineering mission -- but it has managed to return an absolutely iconic photo of its distant home, seen across the very unfamiliar far side of the Moon. The photos were posted by Xinhua News; thanks to Cosmic Penguin for pointing them out.

Earth and the Moon from Chang'e 5 T1

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Earth and the Moon from Chang'e 5 T1
The Chang'e 5 test vehicle captured this beautiful view of Earth over the far side of the Moon on October 28, 2014.

The spacecraft also caught Earth and the Moon individually:

Mare Marginis on the Moon from Chang'e 5 T1

CAST

Mare Marginis on the Moon from Chang'e 5 T1
The Chang'e 5 test vehicle launched on October 23, 2014, looping around the far side of the Moon before returning to Earth in a test of sample return technology. It took this photo of Mare Mariginis on October 28 after rounding the farside.
Earth from Chang'e 5 T1

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Earth from Chang'e 5 T1
The Chang'e 5 test vehicle captured this view of its home planet on October 28, after rounding the lunar farside.

The spacecraft's trajectory will carry it back to Earth at about 21:30 UT on October 31. Happy Halloween!

 
See other posts from October 2014

 

Read more blog entries about: Chang'E program

Comments:

jimoberg: 10/28/2014 01:32 CDT

Looks to be about 12,000 km beyond the moon, if my angles SWAG is close. Cool.

ethanol: 10/28/2014 11:00 CDT

That first picture is fantastic! It may be an engineering mission, but they sure gave it a nice camera. (take note, NASA)

rsholmes: 10/29/2014 11:43 CDT

I did a crude reconstruction of the first picture in Celestia and came up with about 12,200 km. Wikipedia says perilune was ~13,000 km from Moon surface. So seems about the right ballpark.

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