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China's Lunar Orbiter Modifies Orbit
SOURCE: Xinhua     UPDATED: 2014-10-28

BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's spacecraft testing technology for the Chang'e-5 return lunar mission, trimmed its orbit on Friday afternoon.

This was the first modification during a journey scheduled to take about eight days, according to a statement from the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

The modification was necessary because the unmanned spacecraft is affected by external factors during the transfer from a terrestrial orbit to a lunar orbit, according to the statement. Updated software allows monitors in Beijing to spot glitches during the journey immediately and respond to them.

The orbiter was launched by a Long March-3C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on early Friday.

Developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the spacecraft will fly around the moon half a circle and return to Earth.