Emily LakdawallaOct 28, 2014

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

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.

The spacecraft also caught Earth and the Moon individually:

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

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