All scientific exploration equipment has begun operation on China's new lunar probe, Chang'e 2. The instruments that collect information about the space environment between the Earth and the Moon have sent back their first batch of data. The ground control center received the first readings from Chang'e 2 early Tuesday morning.
The equipment on board detects a wide array of information such as gamma radiation levels.
The control center has confirmed that all instruments are working correctly.
The center announced that the second correction of Chang'e 2's orbit has been cancelled, as data proves the satellite is travelling strictly to plan following the first correction.
Experts said the satellite might change its orbit slightly due to the influence of the atmosphere and cosmic environment. Timely correction is therefore needed to prevent Chang'e 2 from deviating from its designed orbit.
The probe went through its first trajectory correction 17 hours after its successful launch.
According to the original plan, the second correction would have been on Sunday. The control center is now watching closely for the timing of its next orbit correction.
It's the first time a Chinese lunar probe has directly entered an Earth-Moon transfer orbit without orbiting the Earth first.
Chang'e 2 satellite was launched just before 7 p.m. on October 1, inaugurating China's second phase of a three-step moon mission, which will eventually culminate in a soft landing on the Moon.
(CNTV.cn October 6, 2010)