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Chang'e-3 Enters Lunar Orbit
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2013-12-09

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's Chang'e-3 probe entered a circular lunar orbit at 5:53 p.m. Friday Beijing Time, after about 112 hours on a Earth-Moon transfer orbit, the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) said.

The probe entered the lunar orbit after 361 seconds of precise braking by the variable thrust engine, following orders by engineers with BACC.

The center later verified that Chang'e-3 had entered the 100 km-high lunar circular orbit.

The braking was important otherwise Chang'e-3 would have escapes from the Moon, or crashed into it, said BACC.

The probe was launched at 1:30 a.m. Monday from southwest China's Xichang Satellite Center. It should soft-land on the Moon in the middle of December.