|Mission type||Lander, lunar rover|
|Mission duration||Lander: 12 months (planned) |
Current: 108 days
Rover: 3 months (planned)
Current: 108 days
|Launch mass||Lander: 1,200 kg |
Rover: 140 kg
|Landing mass||Total: ~1,200 kg; rover: 140 kg|
|Dimensions||Rover: 1.5 × 1.0 × 1.0 m|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||Queqiao relay satellite: 20 May 2018|
Lander and rover: 7 December 2018, 18:23 UTC
|Rocket||Long March 3B|
|Launch site||Xichang Satellite Launch Center|
|Landing date||Lander and rover: 3 January 2019, 2:26 UTC|
|Landing site||Von Kármán crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin|
Chang'e 4 ( // ; Chinese :嫦娥四号; pinyin :Cháng'é Sìhào; literally: ' Chang'e No. 4') is a Chinese lunar exploration mission that achieved the first soft landing on the far side of the Moon, on 3 January 2019. A communication relay satellite, Queqiao, was first launched to a halo orbit near the Earth-Moon L2 point in May 2018. The robotic lander and Yutu 2 (Chinese: 玉兔二号; literally :"Jade Rabbit No. 2") rover were launched on 7 December 2018 and entered orbit around the Moon on 12 December 2018.
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China and Singapore.
Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.
Chang'e or Chang-o, originally known as Heng'e, is the Chinese goddess of the Moon. She is the subject of several legends in Chinese mythology, most of which incorporate several of the following elements: Houyi the archer, a benevolent or malevolent emperor, an elixir of life, and the Moon. She is married to the archer Houyi. In modern times, Chang'e has been the namesake of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.
The mission is the follow-up to Chang'e 3, the first Chinese landing on the Moon. The spacecraft was originally built as a backup for Chang'e 3 and became available after Chang'e 3 landed successfully in 2013. The configuration of Chang'e 4 was adjusted to meet new scientific objectives. Like its predecessors, the mission is named after Chang'e, the Chinese Moon goddess.
Chang'e 3 is an unmanned lunar exploration mission operated by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), incorporating a robotic lander and China's first lunar rover. It was launched in December 2013 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. The mission's chief commander was Ma Xingrui.
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program is designed to be conducted in three phases of incremental technological advancement: the first is to reach lunar orbit, a task completed by Chang'e 1 in 2007 and Chang'e 2 in 2010; the second is to land and rove on the Moon, as Chang'e 3 did in 2013 and Chang'e 4 did in January 2019; the third is to collect lunar samples from the near-side and send them to Earth, a task for the future Chang'e 5 and Chang'e 6 missions. The program aims to facilitate a crewed lunar landing in the 2030s and possibly build an outpost near the south pole. –civilian relationships.The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program has started to incorporate private investment from individuals and enterprises for the first time, a move aimed at accelerating aerospace innovation, cutting production costs, and promoting military
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, also known as the Chang'e Project after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e, is an ongoing series of robotic Moon missions by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The program incorporates lunar orbiters, landers, rovers and sample return spacecraft, launched using Long March rockets. Launches and flights are monitored by a Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TT&C) system, which uses 50-metre (160-foot) radio antennas in Beijing and 40-metre (130-foot) antennas in Kunming, Shanghai, and Ürümqi to form a 3,000-kilometre (1,900-mile) VLBI antenna. A proprietary ground application system is responsible for downlink data reception.
Chang'e 1 was an unmanned Chinese lunar-orbiting spacecraft, part of the first phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. The spacecraft was named after the Chinese Moon goddess, Chang'e.
Chang'e 2 is a Chinese unmanned lunar probe that was launched on 1 October 2010. It was a follow-up to the Chang'e 1 lunar probe, which was launched in 2007. Chang'e 2 was part of the first phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, and conducted research from a 100-km-high lunar orbit in preparation for the December 2013 soft landing by the Chang'e 3 lander and rover. Chang'e 2 was similar in design to Chang'e 1, although it featured some technical improvements, including a more advanced onboard camera. Like its predecessor, the probe was named after Chang'e, an ancient Chinese moon goddess.
The Chang'e 4 mission was first scheduled for launch in 2015 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. 15 km (9.3 mi) on 30 December 2018, 00:55 UTC. Landing took place on 3 January 2019 at 02:26 UTC, shortly after lunar sunrise over the crater Von Kármán.But the adjusted objectives and design of the mission imposed delays, and finally launched on 7 December 2018, 18:23 UTC. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on 12 December 2018, 08:45 UTC. The orbit's perilune was lowered to
Von Kármán is a large lunar impact crater that is located in the southern hemisphere on the far side of the Moon. The crater is about 180 km in diameter and it is located within an even larger impact crater known as the South Pole–Aitken basin of roughly 2,500 km (1,600 mi) in diameter and 13 km (8.1 mi) deep. Von Kármán is the site of the first soft-landing on the lunar far side by the Chinese Chang'e 4 spacecraft on 3 January 2019.
This mission will attempt to determine the age and composition of an unexplored region of the Moon, as well as develop technologies required for the later stages of the program.
An ancient collision event on the Moon left behind a very large crater, called the Aitken Basin, that is now about 13 km (8.1 mi) deep, and it is thought that the massive impactor likely exposed the deep lunar crust, and probably the mantle materials. If Chang'e 4 can find and study some of this material, it would get an unprecedented view into the Moon's internal structure and origins. The specific scientific objectives are:
In geology, the crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet, dwarf planet, or natural satellite. It is usually distinguished from the underlying mantle by its chemical makeup; however, in the case of icy satellites, it may be distinguished based on its phase.
A mantle is a layer inside a planetary body bounded below by a core and above by a crust. Mantles are made of rock or ices, and are generally the largest and most massive layer of the planetary body. Mantles are characteristic of planetary bodies that have undergone differentiation by density. All terrestrial planets, a number of asteroids, and some planetary moons have mantles.
Direct communication with Earth is impossible on the far side of the Moon, since transmissions are blocked by the Moon. Communications must go through a communications relay satellite, which is placed at a location that has a clear view of both the landing site and the Earth. On 20 May 2018, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) launched the Queqiao (Chinese :鹊桥; pinyin :Quèqiáo; literally: 'Magpie Bridge') relay satellite to a halo orbit around the Earth–Moon L2 point. The relay satellite is based on the Chang'e 2 design, has a mass of 425 kg (937 lb), and it uses a 4.2 m (14 ft) antenna to receive X band signals from the lander and rover, and relay them to Earth control on the S band.
The spacecraft took 24 days to reach L2, using a lunar swing-by to save fuel. 65,000 kilometres (40,000 mi) from the Moon. This is the first lunar relay satellite at this location.On 14 June 2018, Queqiao finished its final adjustment burn and entered the L2 halo mission orbit, which is about
The name Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge") is inspired and came from the Chinese tale The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl .
As part of the Chang'e 4 mission, two microsatellites (45 kg or 99 lb each) named Longjiang-1 and Longjiang-2 (Chinese :龙江; pinyin :Lóng Jiāng; literally: 'Dragon River' ; also known as Discovering the Sky at Longest Wavelengths Pathfinder or DSLWP ), were launched along with Queqiao in May 2018. Longjiang-1 failed to enter lunar orbit, but Longjiang-2 succeeded and is currently operational in lunar orbit. These microsatellites were tasked to observe the sky at very low frequencies (1–30 MegaHertz), corresponding to wavelengths of 300 to 10 metres (984 to 33 ft), with the aim of studying energetic phenomena from celestial sources. Due to the Earth's ionosphere, no observations in this frequency range have been done in Earth orbit, offering potential breakthrough science.
As is the case with many of China's space missions, the details of the spacecraft and the mission have been limited.What is known is that much of the Chang'e 4 lander and rover design is modeled after Chang'e-3 and its Yutu rover. In fact, Chang'e 4 was built as a backup to Chang'e 3, and based on the experience and results from that mission, Chang'e 4 was adapted to the specifics of the new mission. The lander and rover were launched on 7 December 2018, 18:23 UTC, six months after the launch of the Queqiao relay satellite.
The total landing mass is 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Both the stationary lander and Yutu-2 rover are equipped with a radioisotope heater unit (RHU) in order to heat their subsystems during the long lunar nights, while electrical power is generated by solar panels. After landing, the lander extended a ramp to deploy the Yutu-2 rover (literally: "Jade Rabbit") to the lunar surface. The rover measures 1.5 × 1.0 × 1.0 m (4.9 × 3.3 × 3.3 ft) and has a mass of 140 kg (310 lb). Yutu-2 rover was fabricated at Dongguan, Guangdong province; it is solar-powered, RHU-heated, and it is propelled by six wheels. The rover's nominal operating time is three months, but after the experience with Yutu rover in 2013, the rover design was improved and Chinese engineers are hopeful it will operate for "a few years."
A few days after landing, Yutu-2 went into hibernation for its first lunar night and it resumed activities on January 29, 2019 with all instruments operating nominally. During its first full lunar day, the rover travelled 120 m (390 ft), and on 11 February 2019 it powered down for its second lunar night. The Yutu-2 rover and lander will resume operations on February 28 and March 1, respectively.
The communications relay satellite, orbiting microsatellite, lander and rover each carry scientific payloads. The relay satellite is performing radio astronomy,whereas the lander and Yutu-2 rover will study the geophysics of the landing zone. The science payloads are, in part, supplied by international partners in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia.
The primary function of the Queqiao relay satellite that is deployed in a halo orbit around the Earth–Moon L2 point is to provide continuous relay communications between Earth and the lander on the far side of the Moon.
Additionally, this satellite hosts the Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer (NCLE), an instrument performing astrophysical studies in the unexplored radio regime of 80 kilohertz to 80 megahertz. MHz–80 MHz) radio astronomical observations.It was developed by the Radboud University in Netherlands and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The NCLE on the orbiter and the LFS on the lander will work in synergy performing low-frequency (0.1
The lander and rover carry scientific payloads to study the geophysics of the landing zone, with a modest chemical analysis capability.The lander is equipped with the following payloads:
The landing site is within a crater called Von Kármán 180 km or 110 mi diameter) in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the Moon that was still unexplored by landers. The site has symbolic as well as scientific value. Theodore von Kármán was the PhD advisor of Qian Xuesen, the founder of the Chinese space program.(
The landing craft touched down at 02:26 UTC on 3 January 2019, becoming the first spacecraft to land on the far side of the Moon.Yutu-2 rover was deployed about 12 hours after the landing.
Chang'e 4 marks the first major US-China collaboration in space exploration since 2011 Congressional ban. Scientists from both countries had regular contact prior to the landing.This included talks about observing plumes and particles lofted from the lunar surface by the probe's rocket exhaust during the landing to compare the results with theoretical predictions, but NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was not in the right position for this during the landing. The US also informed Chinese scientists about its satellites in orbit around the moon, while China shared with the US scientists the longitude, latitude, and timing of Chang'e 4's landing.
China has agreed to a request from NASA to use the Chang'e 4 probe and Queqiao relay satellite in future US moon missions.
A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, Earth observation, meteorology, navigation, space colonization, planetary exploration, and transportation of humans and cargo. All spacecraft except single-stage-to-orbit vehicles cannot get into space on their own, and require a launch vehicle.
A lander is a spacecraft which descends toward and comes to rest on the surface of an astronomical body. By contrast with an impact probe, which makes a hard landing and is damaged or destroyed so ceases to function after reaching the surface, a lander makes a soft landing after which the probe remains functional.
A Moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned (robotic) missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission, on 13 September 1959.
The physical exploration of the Moon began when Luna 2, a space probe launched by the Soviet Union, made an impact on the surface of the Moon on September 14, 1959. Prior to that the only available means of exploration had been observation from Earth. The invention of the optical telescope brought about the first leap in the quality of lunar observations. Galileo Galilei is generally credited as the first person to use a telescope for astronomical purposes; having made his own telescope in 1609, the mountains and craters on the lunar surface were among his first observations using it.
In orbital mechanics, a Lissajous orbit, named after Jules Antoine Lissajous, is a quasi-periodic orbital trajectory that an object can follow around a Lagrangian point of a three-body system without requiring any propulsion. Lyapunov orbits around a Lagrangian point are curved paths that lie entirely in the plane of the two primary bodies. In contrast, Lissajous orbits include components in this plane and perpendicular to it, and follow a Lissajous curve. Halo orbits also include components perpendicular to the plane, but they are periodic, while Lissajous orbits are not.
A rover is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet or other celestial body. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew; others have been partially or fully autonomous robots. Rovers usually arrive at the planetary surface on a lander-style spacecraft. Rovers are created to land on another planet, besides Earth, to find out information and to take samples. They can collect dust, rocks, and even take pictures. They are very useful for exploring the universe.
A halo orbit is a periodic, three-dimensional orbit near the L1, L2 or L3 Lagrange point in the three-body problem of orbital mechanics. Although the Lagrange point is just a point in empty space, its peculiar characteristic is that it can be orbited. Halo orbits can be thought of as resulting from an interaction between the gravitational pull of the two planetary bodies and the Coriolis and centrifugal accelerations on a spacecraft. Halo orbits exist in any three-body system, e.g. the Sun–Earth–Orbiting Satellite system and the Earth–Moon–Orbiting Satellite system. Continuous "families" of both Northern and Southern halo orbits exist at each Lagrange point. Because halo orbits tend to be unstable, stationkeeping is required to keep a satellite on the orbit.
SELENE-2, or the Selenological and Engineering Explorer 2, is a cancelled Japanese robotic mission to the Moon that would have included an orbiter, a lander and a rover. It was intended as a successor to the 2007 SELENE (Kaguya) lunar orbiter.
Several Asian countries have space programs and are actively competing to achieve scientific and technological advancements in space, a situation sometimes referred to as the Asian space race in the popular media as a reference to the earlier Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Like the previous space race, issues involved in the current push to space include national security, which has spurred many countries to send artificial satellites as well as humans into Earth orbit and beyond. A number of Asian countries are seen as contenders in the ongoing race to be the pre-eminent power in space.
Chandrayaan-2 is India's second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1. Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the mission is planned to be launched to the Moon by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III. It includes a lunar orbiter, lander and rover, all developed by India.
A lunar rover or Moon rover is a space exploration vehicle (rover) designed to move across the surface of the Moon. The Lunar Roving Vehicle was designed to be driven by members of human spaceflight crews from the U.S. Apollo program. Other rovers have been partially or fully autonomous robots, such as Soviet Lunokhods and the Chinese Yutus. Three countries have had rovers on the Moon: the Soviet Union, the United States and China. Japan and India currently have planned missions.
This article lists achieved spaceflight events in 2018. For the first time since 1990, more than 100 orbital launches were performed globally.
Chang'e 5 is a robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission consisting of a lander and a sample-return vehicle. It is currently under development and it is scheduled for a launch in December 2019, after being postponed due to the failure of the Long March 5 launch vehicle in 2017. Chang'e 5 will be China's first sample return mission, aiming to return at least 2 kilograms of lunar soil and rock samples back to the Earth. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang'e. This will be the first lunar sample-return mission since Luna 24 in 1976.
The (Japanese) Lunar Exploration Program (月探査計画), is a program of robotic and human missions to the Moon undertaken by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and its division, the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS). It is also one of the three major enterprises of the JAXA Space Exploration Center (JSPEC). The main goal of the program is "to elucidate the origin and evolution of the Moon and utilize the Moon in the future".
Yutu was a robotic lunar rover that formed part of the Chinese Chang'e 3 mission to the Moon. It was launched at 17:30 UTC on 1 December 2013, and reached the Moon's surface on 14 December 2013. The mission marks the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976 and the first rover to operate there since the Soviet Lunokhod 2 ceased operations on 11 May 1973.
Chang'e 6 is a planned robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission expected to be launched in 2023 or 2024 and perform China's second sample return mission. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e.
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