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Home / Science / China prepares to launch the historic mission to Moon's Far Side on Friday

China prepares to launch the historic mission to Moon's Far Side on Friday



China is ready to launch the very first surface mission on the other side of the moon.

Chang'n 4 robot mission is due to launch on Friday (December 7) on a Long March 3B rocket 13:30 EST (1830 GMT; 2 December, 8:30 local time in China) ,

If all goes according to plan, the Lander-Rover duo of Chang & # 39; e 4 lands in the South Pole Aitken (SPA) Basin of the Moon Examine both the surface and the surface after a 27-day flight Underground of this region. [China’s Moon Missions Explained (Infographic)]

Both the lander and the rover were designed to back up China's successful Chang & # 3 mission, which in December 201

3 brought a lander and a rover named Yutu to the moon.

As a prelude to Chang # 4, China launched the relay satellite Queqiao last May. Queqiao is now at the L2 Lagrange point on Earth – a place where the spacecraft can handle communication between the ground controllers and the Landerover mission on the other side.

  China's Yutu lunar vehicle, photographed on the lunar surface of the Moon landing land Chang'e 3 on December 16, 2013. The Chang'e-4 mission to the Moon's side, which is scheduled to launch on December 7, 2018 , was designed as a support for Chang & # 39; e 3.

China's Yutu Moon Rover, photographed on December 16, 2013 on the lunar surface of the lander Chang'e 3. The Chang'e 4 mission to the far side of the moon, which is scheduled to launch on December 7, 2018, was designed as a backup for Chang's 3.

Credit: CASC / China Ministry of Defense

It is expected that Chang & # 39; e 4 will be located in the Von Kármán Crater in the SPA Cymbal lands.

In a study published last month, Yingzhuo Jia from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and his colleagues outlined the Mission's key scientific goals. (Jia is also a member of the State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, National Academy of Space Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Science.)

The mission that Jia and her team members wrote is to:

  • A low-frequency radio. astronomical study on the lunar surface;
  • An investigation of the flat structure on the far side of the moon within the roving area;
  • Topographical and mineralogical composition studies of the far side of the moon within the patrol area of ​​the rover.

The astronomical study is particularly fascinating. The distant side of the moon is always away from Earth, so it is free of interference from the planet's ionosphere, human radio frequencies, and Aurora's. The emission of solar radios is also blocked during the moonlit night.

"Therefore, the lunar side was widely regarded as the best place for low-frequency radionomic observation," the researchers write in a recent paper.

The article also described the eight scientific payloads the mission entailed.

  An artistic representation of the Chinese relay satellite Queqiao, which will relay data between the controllers on Earth and China's Lander-Rover pair Chang'e 4 on the lunar probe side. Queqiao launched in May 2018; The duo of Chang # 4 will be taking off on December 7th.

An artistic depiction of the Chinese relay satellite Queqiao, which will relay data between Earth's controllers and the Chinese Lander-Rover pair Chang'e 4 on the opposite side of the Moon. Queqiao launched in May 2018; The duo of Chang # 4 will be taking off on December 7th.

Credit: CNSA

The Lander of Chang # 4 wears the Landing Camera (LCAM), the Terrain Camera (TCAM), the Low Frequency Spectrometer (LFS) and the Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry (LND). The Rover also has four instruments: the Panoramic Camera (PCAM), the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), the Visible and Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometers (VNIS), and the Advanced Small Analyzer for Neutral Instruments (ASAN), which are manufactured by were provided Sweden.

The LFS was redeveloped for the Lander Chang # 4. The other domestic Chinese payloads are inherited from Chang'e 3.

The relay satellite Queqiao also carries an instrument called the Dutch-Chinese Low Frequency Researcher (NCLE). The NCLE and the LFS of the lander will carry out common low-frequency radio astronomical observations. [Moon Master: An Easy Quiz for Lunatics]

The LPR instrument is likely to detect subterranean structures on the robot's patrol route and the thickness and structure of the lunar regolith. The device is a nanosecond pulse radar with bistatic antennas.

It works like this: An ultrabroadband nanosecond pulse is generated by a transmitter and then sent through the transmitting antenna to the lunar surface. The echo signal of the subterranean destination is received by the receiving antenna, amplified in the receiver and then restored as a data set.

According to a message released this year in China by Xinhua Agency, Chang's 4 will also have a can of seeds of potatoes and Arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard is to carry with you. It can also pick up silkworm eggs.

This "Moon Minibiosphere" experiment was designed by 28 Chinese universities run by the southwestern Chinese Chongqing University. The cylindrical tin made of special aluminum alloys weighs about 6.6 lbs. (3 kilograms).

  A view of the south pole Aitken basin of the moon.

A view of the South Pole Aitken Basin of the Moon.

. Credit: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center


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