Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Chang'E 2 enters lunar orbit

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On October 6, 2010, after a quick five-day cruise to the moon, Chang'E 2 fires its main engine to place itself into lunar orbit, an event witnessed by an engineering camera. The Moon spins behind the view of the thruster, whose narrow neck glows with the heat of the rocket burn. The spacecraft crosses the lunar terminator (day/night boundary) as the burn continues, and the burn ends with the spacecraft still over the night side. (Of the five videos I am posting today, this is the one _least_ worth waiting for the end.)