Chang'e 5 lunar probe enters orbit around moon

ZHAO LEI | Updated: 2020-11-30 08:06
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This image from video animation is provided by the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC). China's Chang'e-5 probe performed braking for the second time at 20:23 pm Sunday (Beijing Time), according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). After the deceleration, the probe started flying in a near circular orbit from an elliptical path around the moon, said the CNSA. [Photo/BACC]

China's Chang'e 5 robotic lunar probe carried out its second braking maneuver Sunday evening and moved from an elliptical lunar orbit to a near-circular lunar orbit, according to China National Space Administration.

Like the first braking operation on Saturday evening, the latest action was executed by a 3,000-newton-thrust engine on the spacecraft's orbiter, which was activated at 8:23 pm, the administration said in a statement.

The braking operation, a crucial measure for orbital control in lunar missions, is essential to ensuring the spacecraft will be captured by the moon's gravitational field instead of accidentally flying by the celestial body.

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