[meteorite-list] Chang'E 2 Successfully Images Asteroid Toutatis

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2012 19:25:54 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <201212160325.qBG3Psdv016595_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Chang'E 2 imaging of Toutatis succeeded beyond my expectations!
Emily Lakdawalla
Society December 14, 2012

The Chang'E 2 mission flyby of Toutatis succeeded
in acquiring images. Oh my goodness, did they succeed. This is awesome.


The images are much better than I expected them to be. There are also many
more of them than I expected. I look forward to learning more about how
they were acquired!

These, in combination with the incredible radar images
still being acquired from Goldstone and innumerable optical observations,
make Toutatis one of the best-studied asteroids in the solar system.

I'll have more to write about this in the future, but I wanted to share the
news as soon as I heard it! Today, we need good news.

Here is a CCTV report on the encounter -- in Chinese, obviously, so all I get is
"Chang-E," but the images in it are cool.

Many thanks to users yaohua2000
and Cosmic Penguin at unmannedspaceflight.com for bringing this to Western
attention! Yaohua2000 also provided the following summary of the encounter:

Relative speed at 10.73 km/s
Closest flyby at 3.2 km altitude

Sequence (local time):
- Dec13 15:25 Return solar panels to 180 degrees
- Dec13 15:30 Switch to inertial altitude control
- Dec13 15:45 Switch to star orientation 10
- Dec13 15:48 Switch to star orientation 2
- Dec13 16:20 Solar panel monitoring camera power up
- Dec13 16:30 Closest flyby
- Dec13 16:45 Solar panel monitoring camera power down

Attached image: captured
at 93-240 km distance between 16:30:09-16:30:24, maximum resolution
10 meters/pixel
Received on Sat 15 Dec 2012 10:25:54 PM PST

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