Earth and Moon, Together Again, from Chang’e 5-T1

Chang’e 5-T1 is really a test flight, not a scientific flight; its primary goal is to validate the return capsule and heat shield for an upcoming lunar robotic sample return mission (planned for 2017).  But that doesn’t mean it can’t enjoy the view while it’s up there:

change5t1-earthmoon

I really am a sucker for Earth-Moon photos.  😉  There are surprisingly few that have both Earth and Moon together without someone compositing two frames together.  This is definitely one of the lovelier ones, with the Moon seeming unnaturally large because it’s so much closer to the spacecraft than Earth.  Thank you, China, and good luck on your upcoming missions!

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