Getting A Glimpse Of The Far Side Of The Moon

China has launched the Chang’e-4 lunar probe which will go where no other lunar mission has gone before—the far side of the moon.

AsianScientist (Dec. 19, 2018) – China has launched Chang’e-4 in the world’s first mission to land on the far side of the moon. Named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, the lunar probe is the fourth to be deployed under the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP). The overarching objective of the CLEP is to send a manned mission to the moon between 2025 and 2030.

The Chang’e-4 lunar probe’s camera pointing system (CPS) was developed by Professor Yung Kai-leung of PolyU in collaboration with the China Academy of Space Technology. It was first adopted by Chang’e-3, which was launched in 2013.

Weighing 2.8 kg and measuring 85 cm by 27 cm and 16 cm, the CPS is mounted on the upper part of the lander of Chang’e-4 and can move 120 degrees vertically as well as rotate 350 degrees sideways. Its purpose is to capture images of the moon as well as facilitate the movement of the lunar rover. The tool was also manufactured to withstand the vast difference in temperature in space and function properly under the influence of the Moon’s gravity.

Associate Professor Wu Bo of PolyU was also involved in selecting a safe landing site with scientific value for Chang’e-4. Wu’s team amassed a large amount of lunar remote sensing data from multiple sources to create high-precision and high-resolution topographic models of the far side of the Moon.

The researchers also analyzed details such as the terrain slopes, crater distribution and geological history of the region. These analyses helped the team put forward an evidenced-based proposal of possible landing sites for the lunar rover.

The two PolyU teams will continue to contribute their expertise to the nation’s space exploration programs, including the Chang’e-5 lunar mission and a planned mission to explore Mars in the future.


Source: Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
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