Raumfahrt - Mondlandung von China´s Change3-Mond-Rover Update Teil-4


Frams von Mondlande-Video von Change-3


Quelle: Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center



ANALYSIS: Lunar success marks China's rise as next space power

BEIJING--China took one giant leap toward becoming a space power, boosting national prestige and possibly securing rare energy resources by successfully soft-landing its first lunar probe.
It also leapfrogged Japan, whose commitment to lunar exploration has not been as steadfast as China’s.
China became the third nation to land a probe on the moon after the former Soviet Union and the United States on Dec. 14, when the unmanned Chang’e 3 touched down. It was the first probe to land on the moon since 1976. The Yutu rover descended down a ladder the following day to the lunar surface.
At the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang applauded Dec. 15, when the probe and rover, both bearing Chinese flags, took photos of each other.
Chang’e is a fairy living on the moon in a Chinese legend, and Yutu is a rabbit beside her.
The Xi administration aims to show off advances in science and technology and boost national prestige. It also hopes to stir nationalistic fervor and consolidate public support.
China has been trying to rival the United States and other major powers not only in politics and economy but in space development.
The country plans to build its own space station around 2020 and land a manned probe on the moon by around 2025.
Analysts say China is also trying to secure a greater claim on lunar resources, such as helium 3, a rare potential fuel for nuclear fusion power generation.
The Dec. 15 edition of the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper said, “China can obtain a certificate to sharing lunar interests only by carrying out exploration and gaining actual results.” It also said, “How to protect China’s interest in outer space has become an inevitable question.”
Many people praised the probe’s successful landing on China’s Weibo microblogging sites, but some asked, “Is there a meaning in spending a lot of money when children in poor areas cannot eat sufficiently?” and “What does the landing matter? Will poor people become rich?”
Japan, which has a similar space program, has lagged substantially behind China in technology development.
Its Kaguya probe, launched in September 2007, a month before China’s Chang’e 1, orbited 100 kilometers above the moon and collected detailed surface data. Japan planned to land a successor probe on the moon and release a rover around 2013.
But the importance of a lunar mission has become ambiguous in Japan after the United States, its key partner in space development, shifted its focus from the moon to Mars and other planets under the Obama administration.
Japan had a plan to explore the moon's interior, but it has not been realized due partly to delays in equipment development. China, meanwhile, has proceeded steadily with its lunar program.
China’s lunar probe is tasked with exploring the moon’s surface and observing the Earth and other planets. It is expected to provide geological data that sheds light on the moon’s origins and detailed observational data of the planets.
According to Science, a U.S. research journal, the Yutu rover, equipped with radar, can investigate geological structures 100 meters below the surface. The Chang’e 3 probe can observe the terrestrial plasmasphere with a special wide-angle camera.
Teruhisa Tsujino of the Japan Science and Technology Agency said he is closely watching to see if the mission will survive the moon's harsh environment for three months, which are equivalent to three lunar days.
On the moon, temperatures can plummet to 180 degrees below zero at night and, depending on the location, soar to more than 100 degrees during the day.
Hiroo Hieda, a director of the Institute for Future Engineering, said the mission will be a good chance for China to show off its high technological levels to the international community.
(This article was compiled from reports by Kim Soon-hi in Beijing and Yuki Takayama and Shiho Tomioka in Tokyo.)
Quelle: The Asahi Shimbun Company


Frams von 1.Foto von Change-3 von Yutu


Quelle: CNTV




"Bemerkenswert" Felsen in der Reichweite von Jade Kaninchen Rover


Some of the youngest lava flows on the Moon are within reach of China's Jade Rabbit rover, says a leading US lunar scientist.
The Chang'e-3 mission touched down on Saturday at the eastern edge of its designated landing box.
Dr Paul Spudis said the landing area was more interesting than its original destination and could fill in gaps in our knowledge of lunar history.
Meanwhile, officials have said that the rover's instruments are now working.
Five of the eight pieces of scientific equipment on Chang'e-3 had begun their observations, state-run Xinhua news agency said.
Continue reading the main story
Whether by design or fortuitous accident, this site is actually more interesting geologically than the spacecraft's original destination”
Paul Spudis
Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
The telescopes and cameras are producing clear images, Zou Yongliao, a scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said at a press conference.
The lander and rover photographed each other on Sunday evening.
The Chinese craft performed the first "soft" landing (non-crash landing) on the Moon since 1976. And Jade Rabbit, or Yutu, is the first rover mission since the Soviet Union's Lunokhod-2 trundled through the grey soil 40 years ago.
A touch down had been planned in the Moon's Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows). But the spacecraft actually landed on the northern edge of Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains) - visible on Earth as the right eye of the "Man in the Moon".
In a blog entry for the Smithsonian's Air and Space magazine, Dr Spudis, from the Lunar and Planetary Insitute in Houston, said: "Whether by design or fortuitous accident, this site is actually more interesting geologically than the spacecraft's original destination."
Chang'e 3 landed at the extreme northern end of a sequence of lava flows, which are estimated - by counting the number of impact craters on them - to be very young in lunar terms.
Dr Spudis said two major terrain types dominated lunar geology: the bright rugged highlands dating from the Moon's formation 4.5 billion years ago, and the younger "maria", dark volcanic plains made up of iron-rich lava flows.
The lavas began to erupt around 3.9 billion years ago, but it is unclear when this volcanic activity ended. The Mare Imbrium lavas appear to be between one and 2.5 billion years old, making them much younger than any of the rock samples returned from the Moon thus far.
Dr Spudis said the Imbrium lavas were "not only remarkable for their physical properties but are also compositionally interesting".
"Because the rover will examine several different individual areas during its traverse, we will obtain new "ground truth" data to better understand the meaning of data obtained remotely from orbit," he explained.
"At a minimum, Yutu will examine the composition of the surface lava flow."
Data gathered from orbit show the lavas to be high in the metal titanium. Volcanic flows to the north of the landing site seem have a lower titanium content and appear to underlie the ones that Chang'e-3 sits on.
But some of these underlying rocks may have been excavated by impacts, allowing Jade Rabbit to look for them among the debris around craters.
"With data from the rover, we might be able to reconstruct the volcanic stratigraphy of this region of the Moon," said Dr Spudis.
"The Chang'e-3 lander and Yutu rover can provide many answers to our questions regarding the geological history of this region of the Moon and about lunar history in general."
China said it would launch Chang'e-5, a mission to return samples of rock and soil from the Moon, in 2017.
Quelle: BBC


Update: 17.12.2013


Steuer+Bremsdüsen von Change-3


Quelle: CNTV



Most Chang'e-3 science tools activated


18.12.2013 - Students learn about the ongoing Chang'e-3 mission at a primary school in Ganyu, Jiangsu province, on Tuesday. Designers are pleased with the mission's success so far, as experiments have gone more smoothly than expected.  (Photo: China Daily)


Six out of the eight pieces of scientific equipment deployed to the moon with the Chang'e-3 lunar mission have been activated by scientists and are functioning properly, according to scientists working on the mission.


Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, scientists said that the equipment aboard the Yutu lunar rover and the Chang'e-3 lander had so far been functioning as hoped, despite the unexpectedly rigorous conditions of the lunar environment.


"Except for the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer and the visible and near-infrared imaging spectrometer, the instruments have all been activated and are undergoing tests and adjustments," said Su Yan, deputy designer of the Chang'e-3 ground applications system.


Zhang He, deputy designer of the probe, said though the temperature disparity is greater than scientists had anticipated, all the equipment on the moon is in "perfect" condition, and optical and ultraviolet-imaging experiments are under way.


Scientists with the ground applications system are expecting to receive a colossal quantity of original data from the rover and lander, which have independent channels to send signals, Su said. The earlier Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 craft only had one channel each, he said.


The mission's success so far has been a relief to Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar probe program. He said the whole process, including the launch, the soft landing, the separation of the rover and lander and the ongoing experiments, have gone "much smoother" than he had expected.


"We made more than 200 plans to respond to any possible emergencies, and they cover each step of the mission," he said. "I am proud that we haven't needed to use them so far."


On Saturday, China became the third nation in the world, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to soft-land a probe on the moon when the unmanned Chang'e-3 successfully set down.


The 140-kilogram, six-wheeled Yutu rover separated from the lander and touched the lunar surface early on Sunday, leaving deep tracks in the loose soil.


The mission is the second phase of China's current moon exploration program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth. It follows the success of the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010.


The next steps for Chinese scientists and engineers, Wu said, are to guarantee that the program's goals are achieved and to make full use of data obtained by the probe.


Given the success of Chang'e-3, the Chang'e-4, a backup probe, will be upgraded and serve as a prototype for the technologies being used in the Chang'e-5.


The job of Chang'e-5 will be to land on the moon and return to Earth with lunar soil samples.


Development of the Long March-5 rocket series and the construction of the new launch center in Wenchang, on the island province of Hainan, are going well, said Liu Jianzhong, deputy designer of the rocket system.


"Among other advantages, the latitude of Wenchang is lower than that of Xichang, enabling the rocket to use less fuel to send satellites or probes into orbit," Liu said.


"In addition, launching from the Wenchang facility means the rocket's wreckage will fall into the sea rather than onto inhabited areas, saving us many problems we would have to handle."


Responding to questions on whether China will send probes to Mars, which has become a key goal for many foreign space organizations, Wu said China has the potential to go there in the wake of the successes of the Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions.


"We follow our own approach that respects stable progress and dislikes rash and reckless moves," he said. "We don't want to compete with any country in this regard. Moreover, the final decision is up to the government."
Quelle: China Daily


Update: 21.12.2013


China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), continued exploring after a "nap", according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence on Friday.

At about 8:00 p.m. Beijing Time, the six-wheeled rover started moving again after shutting down its subsystems on Dec. 16.

Yutu has had to deal with direct solar radiation raising the temperature to over 100 degrees centigrade on his sunny side, while his shaded side simultaneously fell below zero.

"The break had been planned to last until Dec. 23, but the scientists decided to restart Yutu now for more research time, based on the recent observations and telemetry parameters," said Pei Zhaoyu, spokesman for the lunar program.

Yutu separated from the lander on Dec. 15, several hours after Chang'e-3 soft-landed on Dec. 14. It moved to a spot about 9 meters to the north where Yutu and the lander took photos of each other.

Yutu will survey the moon's geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in-situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

Quelle: Xinhua


Update: 22.12.2013


China's moon rover, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), worked in stable condition following its restart after a "nap" on Friday night, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC).

The six-wheeled rover started moving again after shutting down its subsystems on Dec. 16, and has traveled about 21 meters as of 8:05 p.m. Beijing Time on Saturday, according to the BACC.

Xinhua reporters observed at the center that the rover is moving slowly and tracks of the wheels can be seen clearly at around 5:00 p.m..

Real-time telemetry updates showed that all subsystems of the rover and lander are working stably, and the rover has sent more than 500 instructions to the lander within the 24 hours after the "nap".

Yutu separated from the lander on Dec. 15, several hours after Chang'e-3 soft-landed on Dec. 14. It moved to a spot about 9 meters to the north where Yutu and the lander took photos of each other.

Yutu will survey the moon's geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in-situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

Quelle: Xinhua


Update: 25.12.2013


China's moon rover "sleeps" through lunar night

BEIJING, The moon rover and lander of China's Chang'e 3 lunar probe mission will "sleep" during the lunar night, enduring extreme low temperatures on the lunar surface.

According to Wu Fenglei of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, the lander will "go to sleep" at about 7 a.m. on Christmas Day and the moon rover, Jade Rabbit, will fall asleep at about 1 a.m. on Boxing Day.

The forthcoming lunar night, expected to begin on Dec. 26, will last for about two weeks, experts with the center estimated. During their "sleep", both lander and rover will have to tolerate minus 180 degrees Celsius. Scientists tested the lander early Tuesday to ensure it can stand the temperature drop.

Both lander and rover are stable, said Wu, adding they have completed a series of scientific tasks in the past two days.

Chang'e-3 soft-landed on the moon's Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, on Dec. 14, establishing China as the third country to carry out such a mission after the United States and Soviet Union.

Yutu, the rover, will survey the moon's geological structure and surface substances and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will conduct in-situ exploration at the landing site for one year.

Quelle: Xinhua


Update: 29.12.2013


1st Chang’e-3 Lunar Panorama
Portion of 1st panorama around Chang’e-3 landing site showing China’s Yutu rover leaving tracks in the lunar soil as it drives across the Moon’s surface on Dec. 15, 2013. Images taken by Chang’e-3 lander following Dec. 14 touchdown. Panoramic view was created from screen shots of a news video assembled into a mosaic.
Credit: CNSA/CCTV/screenshot mosaics & processing by Marco Di Lorenzo/Ken Kremer


As night fell on the Earth’s Moon, China’s Yutu rover and mothership lander have both entered a state of hibernation determined to survive the frigidly harsh lunar night upon the magnificently desolate gray plains.

Yutu went to sleep at 5:23 a.m. Dec. 26, Beijing time, upon a command sent by mission control at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC), according to China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND).

The Chang’e-3 lander began its long nap hours earlier at 11:00 a.m. Beijing time on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

The vehicles must now endure the lunar night, which spans 14 Earth days in length, as well as the utterly low temperatures which plunge to below minus 180 degrees Celsius.

Yutu rover points mast with cameras and high gain antenna downwards to inspect lunar soil around landing site in this photo taken by Chang’e-3 lander. Credit: CNSA


Scientists completed a series of engineering tests on the probes to ensure they were ready to withstand the steep temperature drop, said Wu Fenglei of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, to the Xinhua state news agency.

Since there is no sunlight, the solar panels can’t provide any power and have been folded back.

So they face a massive engineering challenge to endure the extremely cold lunar night.

Therefore in order to survive the frigid lunar environment, a radioisotopic heat source is onboard to provide heat to safeguard the rovers and landers delicate computer and electronics subsystems via the thermal control system.

They are situated inside a warmed box below the deck that must be maintained at a minimum temperature of about minus 40 degrees Celsius to prevent debilitating damage.

So the two spacecraft still have to prove they can hibernate and eventually emerge intact from the unforgiving lunar night.

Just prior to going to sleep, the 140 kg Yutu rover flexed its robotic arm and Chinese space engineers at BACC completed an initial assessment testing its joints and control mechanisms.

The short robotic arm appears similar in form and function to the one on NASA’s famous Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers.

It is equipped with an alpha particle X-ray instrument (APXS) – on the terminus – to determine the composition of lunar rocks and soil.

The robotic pair of spacecraft safely soft landed on the Moon on Dec. 14 at Mare Imbrium, nearby the Bay of Rainbows, or Sinus Iridum region. It is located in the upper left portion of the moon as seen from Earth. You can easily see the landing site with your own eyes.

Barely seven hours after the history making touchdown, ‘Yutu’ was painstakingly lowered from its perch atop the lander and then successfully drove all six wheels onto the moon’s surface on Dec. 15.

Yutu left noticeable tracks behind, several centimeters deep, as the wheels cut into the loose lunar regolith.

The Chang’e-3 lander and rover then conducted an initial survey of the stark lunar landing site, pockmarked with craters and small boulders.

‘Jade Rabbit’ will resume the lunar trek upon awakening, along with the stationary lander, from their extended two week slumber around Jan 12, 2014.

Yutu will depart the Chang’e-3 landing zone forever and rove the moon’s surface for investigations expected to last at least 3 months – and perhaps longer depending on its robustness in the unforgiving space environment.

The robotic rover will use its suite of four science instruments to survey the moon’s geological structure and composition to locate the moon’s natural resources for use by potential future Chinese astronauts, perhaps a decade from now.

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) imaged the Chang’e-3 landing site in western Mare Imbrium around Christmas time on 24 and 25 December with its high resolution LROC camera and we’ll feature them here when available.

China is only the 3rd country in the world to successfully soft land a spacecraft on Earth’s nearest neighbor after the United States and the Soviet Union.

The best is surely yet to come!