Chang'e 5: After Blast Off

Chang'e 5 after ascent stage blasted off, seen just before sunset
Chang'e 5 descent stage seen just before sunset on 7 Februray 2021, M136736629LR [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

LROC observed China's Chang'e 5 descent stage left behind on the lunar surface after the ascent stage blasted off on 3 December 2020.

Left: Chang'e 5 on surface with ascent stage still in place. Right: After ascent stage departure.
Left: Chang'e 5 spacecraft before departure of ascent stage (incidence angle 47°, M1361560086LR). Right: After departure of ascent stage (incidence angle 80°, M1367366229LR). Both images sampled at 1.2 meter pixels, north is up [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

LRO passes over the landing site (43.0576°N, 308.0839°E) about once a month, each time with different illumination. Over the next two months lighting will be optimal for stereo images from which a detailed topographic map of the landing site can be made.

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Published by Mark Robinson on 19 February 2021