Chang'e 5-T1

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Chang'e 5-T1
Chang'e 5-T1.jpg
Chang'e 5-T1's re-entry module after vacuum thermal tests
Mission typeChang'e 5 precursor mission, lunar flyby and Earth reentry
COSPAR ID2014-065A
SATCAT no.40283
Mission durationPrimary Mission: 8.17 days
Extended Mission: 2394 days
Spacecraft properties
BusDFH-3A [1]
Launch massService Module approximately 2,215 kg, return capsule under 335 kg
Start of mission
Launch date23 October 2014, 18:00 (2014-10-23UTC18) UTC [2][3]
RocketLong March 3C/G2
Launch siteXichang LC-2
End of mission
Landing date31 October 2014, 22:42 (2014-10-31UTC22:43) UTC[4][5]
Return capsule
Landing siteSiziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLunar free return

Chang'e 5-T1 (Chinese: 嫦娥五号T1; pinyin: Cháng'é wǔhào T1) is an experimental robotic spacecraft that was launched to the Moon on 23 October 2014 by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) to conduct atmospheric re-entry tests on the capsule design planned to be used in the Chang'e 5 mission.[2][6][7] As part of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, Chang'e 5, launched in 2020, is a Moon sample return mission. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese Moon goddess Chang'e. The craft consisted of a return vehicle capsule and a service module orbiter.[8]

The return capsule of Chang'e 5-T1, named Xiaofei (Chinese: 小飞) meaning "little flyer" in Chinese, landed in Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia on 31 October 2014, 22:42 UTC. The CE-5-T1 Service Module entered lunar orbit on 13 January 2015.[9] Its initial orbit was 200 x 5300 km with period of 8 hours.


successful re-entry

It consisted of a DFH-3A "Chang'e 2 type" spacecraft with a mass of approximately 2,215 kg (including 1,065 kg of fuel)[10] carrying the Chang'e 5 return capsule with a mass of under 335 kg.[11] The craft was launched by a Long March 3C rocket into a lunar free return trajectory. It looped behind the Moon and returned to Earth, with the return capsule testing the high speed atmospheric skip reentry.

The DFH-3A "service module" remained in orbit around the Earth before being relocated via Earth-Moon L2 to lunar Lissajous orbit by 13 January 2015, where it will use its remaining 800 kg of fuel to test maneuvers key to future lunar missions.[12]

In February and March 2015 the DFH-3A "service module" performed two "virtual target" rendezvous tests for the future Chang'e 5 mission. In April 2015 the small monitoring camera was used to obtain higher resolution photos of Chang'e 5's landing zone.

Mission profile[edit]

  • Launch: Xichang Satellite Launch Center, 23 October 2014, 18:00 UTC
  • Nominal mission duration: Chang'e 5 return capsule: 196 hours (8.17 days)
  • Nominal mission duration: DFH-3A: Ongoing
  • Lunar fly-by: 97 hours after final orbit insertion (4.04 days)
  • Periselenium: ≈13,000 km from Moon surface
  • Distance of Moon from Earth at closest fly-by: ≈373,000 km[13][14][15]
  • Landing: Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia, 31 October 2014, 22:42 UTC

Secondary payloads[edit]

Chang'e 5-T1 also carries the first commercial payload to the Moon[16] called the 4M mission (Manfred Memorial Moon Mission) for the German space technology company OHB System, in honor of the company's founder, Manfred Fuchs, who died in 2014. Technical management of the 4M mission was performed by LuxSpace. The payload weighs 14 kilograms and contains two scientific instruments. The first instrument is a radio beacon to test a new approach for locating spacecraft. Amateur radio operators were encouraged via prize incentives to receive the transmissions and send results back to LuxSpace.[17] The second instrument, a radiation dosimeter provided by the Spanish company iC-Málaga, continuously measured radiation levels throughout the satellite's circumlunar path.[18][19]

The spacecraft also carries a radiation exposure experiment with bacteria and plants.[1][20][21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chang'e 5-T1 (CE 5-T1)". Gunter's Space Page. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Chinese Long March Rocket successfully launches Lunar Return Demonstrator". Spaceflight101. 23 October 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  3. ^ "China launches test return orbiter for lunar mission". Xinhuanet. 24 October 2014.
  4. ^ "China completes first mission to moon and back". Space Daily. 1 November 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  5. ^ "中国探月工程三期再入返回飞行试验获圆满成功". 中国新闻网. 31 October 2014.
  6. ^ "CLunar mission:craft to conduct re-entry tests before 2015". Xinhuanet. 14 December 2013. Archived from the original on 31 October 2015.
  7. ^ "China's Lunar Probe Tester Ready for Chang'e 5 Mission". CRIEnglish News. 11 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Chang'e 5 Test Mission". Spaceflight 101. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Chang'e 5 Test Mission Updates". Spaceflight 101. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Chang'e 5-T1". NSSDCA. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Chang'e 5 Test Mission Updates". Spaceflight 101. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2014.
  13. ^ "The mission". LuxSpace. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  14. ^ "ANS-278 AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins". AMSAT News Service. 5 October 2014.
  15. ^ "天津航天爱好者谈嫦娥五号飞行试验器". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  16. ^ "First commercial mission to the moon launched from China". Spaceflight Now. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  17. ^ "4M Reception Contest". LuxSpace. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  18. ^ "China Readies Moon Mission for Launch Next Week". 14 October 2014.
  19. ^ "China Poised to Launch Next Moon Mission on Thursday". 22 October 2014.
  20. ^ Aron, Jacob (20 October 2014). "China set to launch probe on round trip to the moon". New Scientist. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  21. ^ Barbosa, Rui C. (23 October 2014). "China launches lunar sample return test mission". NASA Space Flight.

External links[edit]