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Planned Orbit Trim for Chang'e-3 Canceled
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2013-12-09

BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lunar probe Chang'e-3 will not perform a planned third trimming of its trajectory along the earth-moon transfer orbit, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Chang'e-3, which is carrying moon rover "Yutu" (Jade Rabbit), was successfully launched early Monday morning from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

"The probe's carrier, an enhanced Long March-3B rocket, entered the orbit with comparatively high precision, and the first two orbital trimmings were highly exact, which resulted in the probe being capable of meeting the demands of near-moon deceleration and follow-up orbital control," said a statement released Thursday by the administration.

Noting good adaptability in the flying control plan for Chang'e-3, the statement added that "it has been decided that a third orbital trimming is not necessary."

If all goes well, the Chang'e-3 mission will mark the first time for China to send a spacecraft to soft-land on the surface of an extraterrestrial body, where it will conduct surveys of the Moon.