China today announced that the Chang & # 39; e-4 mission, which made the first soft landing on the other side of the moon, was a complete success.
With the assistance of the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) and the lander of the probe Chang & # 39; e-4 took pictures of one of the 39; another.
The scientific instruments on board the probe worked well and the images taken by the probe and the tracking data were returned to ground control, said China's National Space Administration (CNSA).
At 4:47 pm in Beijing, Friday, images of the lander and rover appeared on a large screen of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, showing the Chinese national flag on the lander and the rover with a landscape dotted with craters in the background .
A congratulatory message sent by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), the Council of State and the Central Military Commission evaluated the Chang & # 39; e-4 mission as a remarkable achievement in the Chinese space program, which marks an important advance for China to be a step forward. Strong country in space exploration.
The Chang probe e-4 landed in the Von Karman crater in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin on the opposite side of the moon on January 3, and the rover reached the lunar surface that night.
The landing module, the remote receiver and the relay satellite are in good condition. After the lander and the rover have been photographed, the probe will start the scientific survey, the CNSA said.
It is named after the Chinese moon goddess "Chang & # 39; e", China's lunar exploration program, which began in 2004, which includes the orbiting and landing on the moon and bringing samples back to Earth.
The program has achieved five continuous successes, CNSA said, referring to Chang's e-1, Chang's e-2, Chang's e-3, a test ship for Chang's e-5. and Chang & # 39; e-4.
One of the images published by CNSA on the previous Friday is a 360-degree panorama, which was made with 80 photos taken by a camera in the landing module.
"From the view, we could see that the probe was surrounded by many small craters – it was really exciting," said Li Chunlai, deputy director of China's National Astronomical Observatory and commander-in-chief of the land application system. 4 of Chang.
"Rough terrain will pose great challenges to plan the rover's path," Li said.
"Compared to the landing site of Chang & e-3, which was sent to the Sinus Iridum or Rainbow Bay, on the near side of the moon, in the area surrounding Chang & e-4 you can find less rocks. indicates that the landing area of Chang's e-4 might be older. "
The CNSA also published a video of the landing process for Chang & # 39; e-4, which was produced by processing more than 4,700 photographs taken by a camera on the probe.
The video, which lasted about 12 minutes, showed that the probe has adjusted its altitude, has remained suspended and avoided the obstacles during the descent.
As a result of the tidal block effect, the moon's revolution cycle is equal to the rotation cycle and is always on the Earth with the same side.
Many lunar orbiters have shown that the two sides of the moon are very different: the near side is relatively flat, while the farthest side is punctuated by impact craters.
"We hope that Chang & # 39; e-4 can perform more demanding and unprecedented tasks," said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar exploration program.
"The other side of the moon has unique characteristics, and it has never been explored on the site, so Chang & # 39; e-4 could provide us with innovative discoveries," said Zou Yongliao, director of the exploration division of the lunar space and deep space. the Chinese Academy. science
The scientific tasks of the Chang & # 39; e-4 mission include the observation of low-frequency radio astronomy, the study of soil and soil forms, the detection of mineral composition and the surface structure of the lunar surface and the measurement of neutron radiation and neutral atoms.
The Chang & # 39; e-4 mission represents China's hope of combining human wisdom in space exploration, with four payloads developed by the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.
The radioisotope's heat source, a collaboration between Chinese and Russian scientists, will support the probe during the lunar night, when the temperature drops to around 180 degrees Celsius.
The ground station built by China in Argentina has played an important role in the monitoring and control of the mission and also the ground stations managed by the European Space Agency will offer support.
NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter scientists also collaborated with the Chang & # 39; e-4 mission team to study the Chang & # 39; e-4 probe, according to CNSA.
"International cooperation is the future of lunar exploration, participating countries will share costs, risks and achievements and will learn from each other, and we hope to have more international cooperation," said Wu Weiren.
We are going to deepen the space
China is becoming an important actor in lunar exploration and contributes to scientific discovery.
The next step of your lunar program is to launch the Chang & # 39; e-5 probe to collect 2 kg of samples and bring them back to Earth.
While China's lunar exploration advances, its space experts are considering the deepening of the solar system, Mars, asteroids and Jupiter, as well as a manned lunar mission.
China plans to launch a probe in 2020 that will orbit, land and move to Mars the following year.
"Exploring the unknown is human nature, the moon is a mysterious world for us, we have the responsibility to explore it.and understand it The exploration of the moon will also deepen our understanding of the Earth and of ourselves, "Wu said.