few days ago, China sent its third spacecraft for a Lunar mission with the support of the European Space Agency for the communication with the spacecraft.
Last Friday, so, less than five days after leaving Earth, the China's Chang'e 3 spacecraft reached lunar orbit to prepare for an historic landing on the Moon. The landing should take place in the moon's Bay of Rainbows, a dark lava plain on the upper-left quadrant of the moon's near side, around December 14th 2013.
Credit: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
The spacecraft is now flying in orbit 100 km above the Moon. This week it plans to move down and lost its altitude. The spacecraft, Chang'e 3, will use its main engine to make a soft landing in the Moon ground. In order to guide its landing, the spacecraft will use some terrain recognition sensors. Around 1 meter above the moon, the lander will autonomously cut off its engine and drop to the lunar surface.
Stay tuned for the live landing in the next days.