National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Chang'e 1
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search all Missions Between:      and      Search
1950-1959 1960-1969 1970-1979 1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-2009 2010-2019 2020+
Chang'e 1
Chang'e 1 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: Long March 3A
Launch Site: Xichang, Peoples Republic of China
Spacecraft Mass: 2350 kg
Spacecraft Instruments: The science payload comprised eight instruments: a stereo camera system to map the lunar surface in visible wavelengths, an interferometer spectrometer imager to obtain multispectral images of the Moon, a laser altimeter to measure the topography, a gamma ray and an X-ray spectrometer to study the overall composition and radioactive components of the Moon, a microwave radiometer to map the thickness of the lunar regolith, and a high energy particle detector and solar wind monitors to collect data on the space environment of the near-lunar region.
Spacecraft Dimensions: 2.0 x 1.7 x 2.2 meter box
Spacecraft Power: Solar Panels
References:
National Space Science Data Center, http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov


The Chang'e 1 orbiter is the first of a planned series of Chinese missions to the Moon. The primary technical objectives of the mission are to develop and launch China's first lunar orbiter, validate the technology necessary to fly lunar missions, build a basic engineering system for lunar exploration, start scientific exploration of the Moon, and gain experience for subsequent missions. The primary science objectives are to obtain three-dimensional stereo images of the lunar surface, analyze the distribution and abundance of elements on the surface, survey the thickness of lunar soil and to evaluate helium-3 resources and other characteristics, and to explore the environment between the Moon and Earth.

Spacecraft and Subsystems
The orbiter is based on the DFH-3 Comsat bus and has a mass of 2350 kg, approximately half of which is propellant and 130 kg of which is the scientific payload. It is basically a 2.0 x 1.7 x 2.2 meter box with two solar panel wings extending from opposite sides. The science payload comprises eight instruments: a stereo camera system to map the lunar surface in visible wavelengths, an interferometer spectrometer imager to obtain multispectral images of the Moon, a laser altimeter to measure the topography, a gamma ray and an X-ray spectrometer to study the overall composition and radioactive components of the Moon, a microwave radiometer to map the thickness of the lunar regolith, and a high energy particle detector and solar wind monitors to collect data on the space environment of the near-lunar region.

Mission Profile
The spacecraft launched on 24 October 2007 at 10:05 UT (18:05 Chinese Standard Time, 6:05 a.m. EDT) on a CZ-3A (Long March 3A) booster from the no. 3 launching tower at Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite was deployed into a 205 x 51000 km Earth orbit from the boosters upper stage at 10:29 UT. It was put into a trans-lunar trajectory with a 13 minute burn starting at 09:15 UT on 31 October, which increased its speed to 10.9 km/s. It went into a 12 hour, 200 x 8600 km altitude near-polar lunar orbit with a 22 minute braking burn starting at 03:15 UT on 5 November. A second braking maneuver, from 03:21 to 03:35 UT on 6 November put the spacecraft into a 3.5 hour, 213 x 1700 km orbit and a third, from 00:24 to 00:34 UT on 7 November, slowed the probe to 1.59 km/s and put it into the final 127 minute, 200 km altitude, circular high-inclination science orbit. Chang'e 1 will orbit the Moon for a year to test the technology for future missions and to study the lunar environment and surface regolith.

The Chang'e program is named for a Chinese legend about a young goddess who flies to the Moon. Funding for Chang'e 1 is 1.4 billion yuan, approximately $169 million U.S.


Key Dates
24 Oct 2007:  Launch
5 Nov 2007:  Lunar Orbit Insertion
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Chang'e 1 Facts Chang'e comes from a Chinese legend about a young goddess (right) who flies to the Moon.

Chang'e 1 is the first mission in China's robotic Moon exploration program.

The spacecraft sent back China's first close-up image of the lunar surface.

The Chang'e program is named for a Chinese legend about a young fairy who flies to the Moon.
Headlines
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 5 Oct 2010