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CHANG E 3


CHANG E 3 is no longer on orbit
CHANG E 3 is classified as:


NORAD ID: 39458
Int'l Code: 2013-070A
Launch date: December 1, 2013
Source: People's Republic of China (PRC)
Launch site: Xichang Space Center, China (XSC)
Decay date: 2013-12-14

CHANG'E 3 is a lunar landing mission, the third Chinese lunar probe following a pair of orbiters launched in 2007 and 2010. The lander carries a bipropellant rocket engine designed to adjust its power level and pivot to control the probe's descent from an altitude of 15 kilometers, or about 9 miles. The probe is equipped with terrain recognition sensors to feed data into the lander's computer, which can autonomously guide the spacecraft to a flat landing zone clear of boulders, craters and steep inclines. That's a first for an unmanned mission, and all robotic landers up to now had to risk settling on to rock fields or other unwelcoming terrain, including NASA's Curiosity rover when it touched down on Mars. The rover has a mass of 140 kilograms, or about 308 pounds, and carries radioisotope heater units to keep the spacecraft warm during the two week-long lunar nights. The heaters are likely powered by small quantities of plutonium-238, the isotope of plutonium preferred for space missions. The Yutu rover carries advanced radars to study the structure of the lunar crust at shallow depths along its path, and it is outfitted with spectrometers to detect the elements making up the moon's soil and rocks. Four navigation and panoramic cameras are mounted on the rover to return high-resolution images from the moon.
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NASA's NSSDC Master Catalog

Two Line Element Set (TLE):


Source of the keplerian elements: AFSPC