Relay satellite Queqiao key role in moon's far side
Relay satellite Queqiao key role in moon's far side
Now, it's China's turn to explore the Moon
10 January, 2019, 12:24
The mission has already been a milestone for the CNSA, being the first to make a soft landing on the Moon and the first mission in history to land on the far side of the lunar surface. This Thursday, 3 January, the Chinese Space Agency announced the successful landing of its probe Chang'e-4. "This is a first for humanity and an impressive accomplishment!" Scientists hope the observations will offer new insights into the satellite's makeup, as well as its formation and evolution. With a crewed mission planned for the coming decades, many are drawing comparisons to the Apollo Era.
"We learned from textile technologists and watchmakers in the development of the metal mesh and ribs on the antenna", Zhang said. Despite the moniker, the dark side of the moon does receive sunlight.
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But her spokesman added: "If that were not to take place. we would respond quickly and provide certainty on the way forward". Amid jeers and heckles from the Tory benches, he said: "I'm trying to do the right thing and make the right judgments".
The probe was launched from China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center and reached the lunar orbit in 12 December. The global payloads involved in the Chang'e-4 mission are- LND, ASAN, NCLE and a small camera. The satellite is positioned in a stable orbit around Earth that keeps both mission control and Chang'e-4 within its sight lines. The lander and its 140kg rover companion will study composition of lunar surface and subsurface, assess radiation environment, its interaction with regolith and low frequency radio astronomy and return images taken by panoramic and terrain cameras. According to astronomer Ye Quanzhi, at Caltech, this is the first time that China has attempted something that none other space powers have tried in the past. If similar relay stations were to hover above the far side of the Moon in the future and use radio waves to communicate with Earth, they will interfere (in the same way that radio and TV stations do on Earth) with radio observatories that would be placed on the far side of the Moon.
"There's a lot of geopolitics or astropolitics about this - it's not just a scientific mission - this is all about China's rise as a superpower", Malcolm Davis, senior analyst in defense strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the Guardian.
To promote public interest in space exploration, the China National Space Administration invited people to write down their wishes for lunar and space exploration, and the relay satellite carries the names of tens of thousands of participants and their messages.
During the total eclipse the moon will turn copper orange as the earth blocks light from the sun, leading to the term blood moon. In the United Kingdom you will have the best chance to get a glance of the astrological event at 5.15am on January 21.
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