HELSINKI – China's Changes 4 land and rover spacecraft successfully entered the moon shift Wednesday (December 12) after a four and a half day flight to the moon.
The spacecraft stepped into an elliptic moon's polar circuit with a danger of 62 miles (100 kilometers) at. 15:45 EST (0845 GMT) December 12 after a burnout of the end of the month.
The spacecraft's only major fire extinguisher fired 80 km (129 km) away from the moon following the release of a command from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center (BACC) at. 3:39 AM EST (0839 GMT). [China’s Chang’e 4 Moon Far Side Mission in Pictures]
The China Lunar Exploration Project (CLEP) announced the success of the decisive brake maneuver within minutes, confirming that the spacecraft worked well and will begin preparations for relay satellite communication tests and refining its lane.
Chang 4 was launched by a March 3B portable rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest China, at 1:23. EST (1823 GMT) on December 7th for a 110 hour trip to the moon.
Three lane correction maneuvers were planned for the lane, but only one, performed December 9, was required, as the first and last maneuvers were considered unnecessary and thus canceled.
Comprising a lander and robber, spacecraft will try the first ever soft landing on the landing side – due to the tide of land never facing the ground – in early 2019.
Lander and rover are equipped with cameras and science to analyze the moon's surface geology and subsoil, solar wind interactions, and make low-frequency radio observations in the unique radio-calmed environment on the landing side.
Communication with spacecraft will be facilitated using the "Queqiao" relay satellite launched in May and then inserted in a halo around the Earth's Lagrange Point, about 40,000 to 53,000 miles (65,000 to 85,000km) beyond the moon.
Longer landing and science
The landing will target candidate landing sites in the South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA), where the chosen place is understood, but not officially announced, to be the 116 kilometer long (186km) Von Kármán crater.
The South Pole-Aitken Basin is a 1,550 km wide (2,500 km), 7.5 km deep (12 km) old battlefields of intense scientific interest that could contain exposed material from the top of the moon and track the history and development of the Moon.
James Head, a planetary scientist at the Brown University's Department of Earth, Environment and Planetary Sciences in Providence, Rhode Island, told SpaceNews that instruments like Lunar Penetrating Radar also abandon China's former Chang's 3-moon mission will provide images of the structure of the Earth's soil and any underground low-flow units and any embedded soils and "help us understand the three-dimensional nature and extent of sub-soil units".
Head stated that the payload Visible and Near Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS) is also of very high interest and will allow comparisons between mineralogy in the South Pol Aitken Basin of nearby units and help answer questions such as: South Pole Aitken Basin Impact penetrates the mooncap?
No official date has been released for landing attempted drive descent, but China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the main space contractor of the Chinese space program, announced shortly after launch that landing will take place in the first days of January 2019 after sunrise over the main candidate landing within the Von Kármán crater at the end of December.
Chang 4 was originally planned as a reserve for Chang's 3 lander and rover mission, which in December 2013 made China a third country to achieve a soft landing on the moon's surface and the first since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976th
The lander has a dry mass of 2,650 lbs. (1,200 kg) and carry 310 lb. (140 kg) rover. At launch when it was loaded with propellant, the spacecraft weighed about 8,380 lbs. (3,800 kg).
Chang's 4 mission is to be followed by China's first trial return mission, Chang 5, which could launch at the end of 2019 on a rocket in March 5.
This story was provided by SpaceNews, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.