Chang'e 2, China's Moon Probe
Chang'e 2 is the followup probe to China's Chang'e 1 Moon probe, very similar but was put into a lower lunar orbit of 100 km in order to obtain higher resolution topography down to 1.3 meters, and a more detailed scientific data. At one point, the probe's orbit was made ellipical in order to come within about 15 km of the Moon.
Chang'e 2 was launched in 2010 on National Day, the 61st anniversary of the present day country, and arrived at the Moon 4 days later without any Earth parking orbit. Chang'e 2 performed its mission over the next 8 months, and then left to park itself at the L-2 libration point (past the far side of the Moon), where it is planned to reside until around the end of 2012.
The detailed mapping of the lunar surface was released in February 2012, and was claimed to be the highest resolution map of the Moon to date, as an exclamation of Chinese technology.
Chang'e 2 will be followed by Chang'e 3, a lunar lander and surface vehicle probe, scheduled for launch in 2013, as part of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program of the China National Space Administration.
PERMANENT.com > Lunar Resources (Mining The Moon) > Probes, History and Future > Chang-e 2 (China)
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