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China’s moon probe enters lunar orbit

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Beijing, Dec 6: China’s Chang’e-3 lunar probe entered a circular lunar orbit Friday, after about 112 hours on a Earth-Moon transfer orbit, the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre said.

The probe entered the lunar orbit after 361 seconds of precise braking by the variable thrust engine, following orders by engineers of the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre, reports Xinhua.

The centre later verified that Chang’e-3 entered the 100-km-high lunar circular orbit.

The braking was important otherwise Chang’e-3 would have escaped from the Moon, or crashed into it, said the centre.

The probe was launched Dec 2 from China’s Xichang Satellite Centre. It is expected to soft-land on the moon in mid-December.

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