[FPSPACE] Chang'e-2 -- why the silence?

Geert Sassen geertsassen at gmail.com
Sat Jan 19 00:54:17 EST 2013

Good day,

for those who haven't seen it yet, there is a very interesting presentation 
online with Chang-e-2 results at 


Kind regards,

Geert Sassen

On dinsdag 08 januari 2013 11:56:41 you wrote:

Thanks, Geert.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Geert Sassen 
To: James Oberg 
Cc: fpspace at friends-partners.org 
Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2013 4:41 AM 
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Chang'e-2 -- why the silence? 

As far as I know several pictures have been taken, at least one more, close-
up, picture was shown on Chinese TV and probably there are more. 

Other instrumentation was not activated, as has been stated in several media. 
In fact, the pictures were taken with one of the engineering camera's (the one 
which was originally used to picture the deployment sequence of the solar 
panels). The real observation camera in the science package was not used as 
this is a push-broom type of camera (like most similar camera's) which would 
have required the whole spacecraft to slew in order to make correct images (as 
Mars Express did during Phobos encounters). This is a more 
complicated manoeuvre and would have resulted in only one or two pictures at 
the very most, and even then only if they managed to pinpoint the target good 
enough to get it into the camera view. Using the engineering camera was a 
'quick and dirty' method of getting images, but it did require a very close 
passage as this camera was obviously never intended for tele-shots of faraway 

As I see it, the whole encounter was primarily a engineering-test for similar 
missions in the future, not much science results were expected. 


Geert Sassen.

On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, James Oberg wrote:

So, a month after a sensationally-impressive asteroid fly-by, and not another 
peep out of the Chinese news media? ONE photograph returned, no other 
instrumentation active? Even then it's worth celebrating rather than 
forgetting about completely. 
What are we missing? 

Geert Sassen

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Geert Sassen
Email: geertsassen at gmail.com
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