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Chang'e-1 avoids moon eclipse, loses contact, resumes
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16:32, August 18, 2008

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According to reports, on August 17, "Chang'e 1" satellite successfully passed this year's second lunar eclipse test. At present, all equipment is operating normally on the satellite.

The partial lunar eclipse occurred between 3:35 a.m. and 6:44 a.m. on August 17. The reporter learned from the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) that the center made a series of adjustments on the satellite on the evening of August 16. At 3:21 am on August 17, when the "Chang'e 1" satellite was hidden by solar rays, in accordance to a program installed earlier, it automatically shut down the telemetry system and entered a "silent" state; and ground control lost the satellite signal temporarily.

About three hours later, the "Chang'e 1" satellite smoothly emerged from the shadows and into the sunlight. After 30 minutes, the BACC have sent instructions to turn on the satellite telemetry system and judging from the telemetry data sent by the satellite, satellite operations were functioning normally. The satellite had survived the eclipse test.

Liu Junze of the BACC pointed out that this action reserves power. "It's like entering a 'hibernation' stage, and can only guarantee that the brain and heart operate. And once the satellite comes out of the lunar eclipse environment, it will gradually activate it's equipment and restore equipment operstion.

By People's Daily Online

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