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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

China’s Lunar Test Spacecraft Takes Incredible Picture of Earth and Moon Together

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The Chinese lunar test mission Chang’e 5T1 has sent back some amazing and unique views of the Moon’s far side, with the Earth joining in for a cameo in the image above. According to the crew at UnmannedSpaceflight.com the images were taken with the spacecraft’s solar array monitoring camera.

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A closeup of Mare Marginis, a lunar sea that lies on the very edge of the lunar nearside. Credit: Xinhua News, via UnmannedSpacefight.com

The mission launched on October 23 and is taking an eight-day roundtrip flight around the Moon and is now journeying back to Earth. The mission is a test run for Chang’e-5, China’s fourth lunar probe that aims to gather samples from the Moon’s surface, currently set for 2017. Chang’e 5T1 will return to Earth on October 31.

The test flight orbit had a perigee of 209 kilometers and reached an apogee of about 380,000 kilometers, swinging halfway around the Moon, but did not enter lunar orbit.

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A view of Earth on October 24, 2014, from the Chinese Chang’e-5 T1 spacecraft.

Source : universe today