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Chang'e-3 satellite payload APXS obtained its first spectrum of lunar regolith
by Staff Writers
Beijing, China (SPX) Jan 03, 2014


APXS was firstly powered on December 23 and an in-flight calibration of a standard basalt rock sample mounted on the rover was accomplished in five minutes, which proved its stable performance on the Moon.

The Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), carried by the Yutu rover of the Chang'e-3 satellite got its first X-ray fluorescence spectrum of lunar regolith around the landing site on December 25, 2013.

An initial analysis indicates that eight major rock-forming elements (Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, Cr and Fe) and at least 3 minor elements (Sr, Y and Zr) of the Moon can be identified in this spectrum.

Besides, the energy resolution of AXS is estimated to be about 135 @5.9keV, which demonstrates that it is currently one of the best X-ray spectrometer for the planetary exploration in the world.

APXS was firstly powered on December 23 and an in-flight calibration of a standard basalt rock sample mounted on the rover was accomplished in five minutes, which proved its stable performance on the Moon.

Two days later, APXS was successfully deployed to about two to three centimeters above the lunar regolith surface by the robotic arm of Yutu and started the detection mode.

APXS was not only an X-ray spectrometer, but also served as a distance sensor during the deployment by making use of X-ray count rate varied with distance.

The Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) developed APXS in collaboration with the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO), CAS.

Prior to the APXS on Chang'e-3, two X-ray Spectrometers onboard Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 developed by IHEP scientists were launched respectively on October, 2007 and October, 2010.

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Related Links
Institute of High Energy Physics, CAS
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
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MOON DAILY
Chang'e 3 Lander and Rover From Above
Tempe AZ (SPX) Dec 31, 2013
Chang'e 3 landed on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) just east of a 450 m diameter impact crater on 14 December 2013. Soon after landing, a small rover named Yutu (or Jade Rabbit in English) was deployed and took its first tentative drive onto the airless regolith. At the time of the landing LRO's orbit was far from the landing site so images of the landing were not possible. Ten days later on ... read more


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