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China / Innovation

Service module of China's returned lunar orbiter reaches L2 point

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-29 15:56

BEIJING -- The service module belonging to China's unmanned lunar orbiter has reached the Earth-Moon second Lagrange Point (L2), the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense said Saturday.

As of Friday, the service module had been flying for 28 days, and was 421,000 kilometers away from Earth and 63,000 km from the moon. All experiments are going well.

The service module was separated from the return capsule of China's test lunar orbiter, which returned to Earth on Nov. 1 after circling the moon in its eight-day mission launched on Oct. 24.

It was the world's first mission to the Moon and back in some 40 years, with China becoming the third nation to do so after the Soviet Union and the United States.

After two orbital transfers, the service module re-entered the elliptical orbit with an apogee of 540,000 km and a perigee of 600 km.

During the flight, the service module again performed orbital transfer actions twice, and flew along the pre-set Earth-moon transfer orbit. On Nov. 23, it reached the perilune and with the lunar gravity it was able to undertake the orbit maneuver to fly to the L2 point.

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