Safe On The Surface Of The Moon!

Chang'e-3 Landing Site
LROC image (acquired 15 July 2009) centered on area seen in descent images acquired by Chang'e-3 as it descended to the surface of Mare Imbrium. Image width 1700 meters, north is up, M102285549 [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Chang'e-3 successfully landed on the Moon on 14 December 2013. The touchdown occurred on the far eastern edge of the commonly reported landing zone (44.12°N, 340.49°E), in the northwestern portion of Mare Imbrium. By correlating features seen in the nested series of Chang'e-3 descent images it appears the spacecraft landed just to the east of a 450 meter (1476 feet) diameter crater.

Locations of descent images
Boxes indicate locations of Chang'e-3 descent images. The spacecraft is probably in, or very near, the smallest box. Image is 4700 meters wide, north is up, NAC M181302794L [NASA/GSFC/ASU/JHUAPL].

The exact landing site will be known when the Chang'e-3 flight team has time to correlate features seen in surface images with orbital images, and tracking data are refined.

Descent images
Chang'e-3 descent images used to locate landing site in LROC NAC images [courtesy Chang'e-3 Team].

LRO will next be above western Mare Imbrium on 24 and 25 December, and LROC will image the Chang'e-3 landing site.

Revisit previous LROC posts of other hardware still on the Moon, and check out the Featured Sites

Published by Mark Robinson on 15 December 2013