BEIJING - China's first lunar satellite, which has been orbiting around the moon for nearly nine months, has withstood the test of a solar eclipse that cut its solar energy supply, state media reported Monday. Scientists altered the Chang'e 1's orbit and temporarily turned off some functions before losing contact with the satellite for more than three hours on Sunday, the Beijing News reported. Signals sent by the satellite after the eclipse indicated it was operating "as expected" the newspaper reported, citing Liu Junze, a scientist at the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre. The ground control centre changed the satellite's orbit so that it would only be out of direct sunlight for 168 minutes instead of the 220 minutes it would have faced otherwise " which would have exceeded the probe's power reserves, the report said. The eclipse occurred between 3:35 am and 6:44 am Sunday (1935 GMT and 2244 GMT Saturday), the report said. It was the second challenge for Chang'e 1 after it had to adopt similar tactics during an eclipse in February. Chang'e 1 is part of China's three-stage moon mission, which is expected to include a landing on the moon and the launch of a rover vehicle which will return to Earth with soil and stone samples around 2017, according to the Xinhua news agency.