Chang'e 4

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Chang'e 4
Mission type Lander, Lunar rover
Operator CNSA
Mission duration 12 months
Start of mission
Launch date End of 2018
Lunar rover
Landing date End of 2018
Landing site South Pole-Aitken Basin(?)

Chang'e 4 (Chinese: 嫦娥四号; pinyin: Cháng'é sìhào) will be a Chinese lunar exploration mission, incorporating a robotic lander and rover. Chang'e 4 will be China's second lunar lander and rover, and was built as a backup to Chang'e 3, as Chang'e 2 was to Chang'e 1. Following the successful landing of the Chang'e 3 mission, the configuration of Chang'e 4 will be adjusted to meet new scientific objectives. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese Moon goddess.

Mission[edit]

The mission was scheduled for launch in 2015 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program[1][2] but the adjusted design of the mission imposed delays. It will now be launched by the end of 2018. Since Chang'e 4 is re-purposed to land on the far side of the Moon, CNSA will first launch a communication relay satellite to Earth-Moon L2 point in June 2018 as a communication relay station to relay the signals between the lander/rover and the earth station.[3] The adjusted aims will include piloting a program that uses private investment from individuals and enterprises for the first time, a move aimed at accelerating aerospace innovation, cutting production costs and promoting military-civilian relationships.[4]

An engineer from Chinese Academy of Sciences said the mission's re-purposed objective would be to study geological conditions on the far side of the Moon.[5] It will be the first ever landing on the lunar far side. The potential landing spots include the South Pole-Aitken Basin [6] (the vast basin in the southern hemisphere of the far side which extends from the South Pole to Aitken crater).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ouyang Ziyuan portrayed Chang E project follow-up blueprint". Science Times. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "China's Moon rover awake but immobile". Nature Publishing Group. 2013-03-19. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Emily Lakdawalla (Jan 14, 2016). "Updates on China's lunar missions". The Planetary Society. Retrieved April 24, 2016. 
  4. ^ "China Outlines New Rockets, Space Station and Moon Plans". Space. 2015-03-17. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "China aims for Moon's far side". BBC. 9 Sep 2015. 
  6. ^ "An overview of the mission and technical characteristics of Change’4 Lunar Probe". doi:10.1007/s11431-016-9034-6 (inactive 2017-04-16). 
  7. ^ "China Plans First Ever Landing On The Lunar Far Side". Space Daily. 22 May 2015.