Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chang'e-3 undergoing thermal vacuum testing

Chang'E-3 begins thermal and hard vacuum testing at the AIT Hall  facility of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation in Beijing [CNSA/CLEP/CSA].
Emily Lakdawalla
The Planetary Society

A member of the forum has posted a large set of photos taken during Chang'E 3 thermal vacuum testing. They are all watermarked "China Space News" which is, as near as I can tell, a Chinese magazine -- I am hoping that the gigantic watermarks make it okay for me to post them. 

I'm posting them here in the spirit of asking forgiveness rather than permission, because I haven't been able to figure out a way to ask for permission. (EDIT: Here's where the photos were originally posted online.)

Thermal vacuum testing is one of the last major testing programs that a spacecraft has to endure before it is cleared for launch. It is a test that must be performed on the actual spacecraft that is headed for space -- not on an engineering model -- and it has to be done with the spacecraft essentially completely assembled.

Read the full article, links, and more images, HERE.

Chang'E-3 lander and rover expected in 2013 (January 10, 2013)
'China's grand plan for lunar exploration' (October 11, 2012)
ILOA to study deep space from Chang'E-3 (September 11, 2012)
Will China deploys first lunar rover since 1976? (April 29, 2012)
China's Long March to the Moon (January 14, 2012)
China plans lunar research base (May 11, 2011)
PRC continues methodical program (March 8, 2011)
Chang'E-2 arrives in mission orbit (October 9, 2010)
Dispatch from Chang'E-2: Sinus Iridum (October 4, 2010)
Chang'E-2 takes direct approach (October 1, 2010)
Chang'E-2 sets stage for future lunar missions (September 3, 2010)
Chang-E-1 research reported published (July 22, 2010)

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