Chang'e 3

Chang'e 3 is a Chinese lunar-lander and rover scheduled for launch in 2013. It will be China's first lunar rover, part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program undertaken by China National Space Administration (CNSA).

In 2009, the 2013 launch date was confirmed for a landing craft and rover. It will use variable thrusters to make a vertical landing on the surface near the moon's equator area. The lunar rover will leave Chang'e 3 and work on the surface for three months. Energy will be provided by radioisotope thermoelectric generator so that the rover operates through lunar nights.[1]

A six-wheeled lunar vehicle has been under development since 2002 at the Shanghai Aerospace System Engineering Institute, where a specialized testing laboratory has been outfitted to replicate the lunar surface.[2][3] The 1.5-meter high, 120 kg (with 20 kg payload) rover has completed assembly by May 2010, and is designed to transmit video in real time, and dig and analyze soil samples. With an average speed of 100 meters/hour, it can negotiate inclines and has automatic sensors to prevent it from crashing into other objects.

Chang'e 3 is scheduled to land at Sinus Iridum,[4] a plain of basaltic lava that forms a northwestern extension to the Mare Imbrium.

See also

* Exploration of the Moon
* List of future lunar missions
* Robotic exploration of the Moon


1. ^ China considering manned lunar landing in 2025–2030
2. ^ "登月车构造原理". 新华网. 2008-04-24. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
3. ^ "中国首辆登月车工程样机". 新华网. 2008-04-24. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
4. ^ China to launch second lunar probe in 2010

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