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Chang'e-3 to land on extraterrestrial celestial body

2012-11-15 14:49 China Military Online     Web Editor: Gu Liping comment

The mysterious veil of the physical model of Chang'e-3, which is scheduled to land on the moon next year, was lifted in front of the world during the 9th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition on November 13, 2012. According to the briefing, Chang'e-3 is the second-phase result of China's lunar exploration program, and is destined for launching at a proper time in 2013. By then, China will realize its first soft landing and tour of the spacecraft on extraterrestrial celestial body.

The Chang'e-3 with four legs and six wheels appeared on the exhibition site is a composite body with a rover and a lander. According to the briefing, the Chang'e-3 possesses sensitive detection capability which enables it to automatically avoid obstacles on the lunar surface. It can also achieve soft landing through hovering in contrast to China's previous spacecrafts, which made hard landings by the help of hard-shell protection devices with no buffering designs.

According to Li Dong, deputy director of the Aerospace Department of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, China has already achieved orbit exploration around the moon with Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2, and have formed holographic images of the moon. The Chang'e-3 probe will walk and "survive" on the lunar surface, and send the images and geological features of the lunar surface back to the Earth via remote sensors.

It is said that after Chang'e-3's successful accomplishment of the "moon-landing" mission, the far-more-difficult third phase of the lunar exploration program will start. China's next step is to collect samples from extraterrestrial celestial body and bring them back to the Earth.

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