A landing page and remote land view, captured by the Changing 5-T1 tech demo mission in 2014. Credit: Chinese Academy…
A landing page and remote land view, captured by the Changing 5-T1 tech demo mission in 2014. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences
A robot lander and robber lifted Friday (USA- time) from China’s Xichang Space Center, kicking off a journey through space that will culminate in an attempt at the beginning of January to move down the multitude for the first time.
Chang 4’s Mission – Fourth in China’s Moon Researchers Headline – Lifted around 1823 GMT (1:23 PM EST) Friday from Xichang, an inland spaceport located between hills in southwest China’s Sichuan- Province.
Chang 4 climbed into the night sky at Xichang – liftoff occurred at 2:23 pm Beijing Saturday – to the East attached to the top of a long March 3B rocket.
Chinese state television did not broadcast the release live, as it did for China’s previous lunar mission launch in 2013, but spectators near Xichang streamed live video of mid-of-the-night blastoff online without comments. The video showed that the long March 3B disappeared in the night sky a few minutes after a clear smooth lifting from Xichang.
Three-Step Long Mars 3B rocket program was programmed to inject Chang 4 spacecraft on a lane course less than half an hour after lifting.
Chang 4 is expected to enter the moon later this month, then use the brake rocket to descend to the surface of the moon and target a landing in Von Karman crater in the moon’s south poles-Aitken basin in early January.
No mission has explored the surface on the far side of the moon, and if successful, Chang 4 will be a major first in space exploration and reach a destination that has long been on the list of NASA and international space researchers.
Chang 4 uses spare hardware hardware built for China’s Chang’s 3 Moon Lander and Rover, which arrived at the Moon in December 2013 with a touchdown in the Mare Imbrium Volcano Basin in the near-end of the Moon.
The rover ceased to drive a few weeks after landing, but some of the craft tools continue to work. The Chang 3-rover called Yutu, designed to drive up to 6 miles, rose about 114 meters before losing its mobility, according to Chinese researchers.
“There are plenty of successful missions with successful landings on the nearest side of the moon, including Chang 3 in Mare Imbrium,” said Jun Huang from the planetary science institute of China’s University of Geosciences in a presentation to American researchers in March at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas. “This mission has lasted for almost five years, and it increased our knowledge of the moon a lot, but we have not (until Chang 4) a mission dedicated to taking precision mesurements of the versatile long side.”
There are some important differences between Chang 3 and Chang 4. For example, landing header on landing page will not contain a robotic arm or an active particle ray spectrometer, an instrument that can measure the chemical elements in the moon’s rocks and fields.
In addition to a series of cameras on both stationary landers and rover, the mission is to deliver a new set of sensors to the moon surface, some of which are provided by European researchers.
The landing module, which will make a rocket-driven landing on the moon like Chang 3, will carry a low-frequency radio spectrometer developed by Chinese researchers for astrophysics research. A German-developed neutron and dosimetry instrument will measure radiation levels at the Chang 4 landing site, collect data that may be useful in planning multi-page human exploration, studying solar activity and measuring underground water content in Von Karman Crater.
The Chang 4-rover will host a terrestrial radar to study geological layers buried at the landing site, and a visible and near infrared spectrometer to collect data about the Earth’s composition. Chinese officials approved the addition of a Swedish instrument to study the interaction between solar wind and the moon surface, which is not protected by an atmosphere from the bombing of charged particles coming from the sun.
Chang 4 will also deliver to the moon a student-designed carrier containing potato seeds and silkworm eggs. University students and researchers will monitor the growth of the organisms, which will be housed in a chamber and feed natural light and nutrients once on the moon surface.
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