12 December 2018
Chang'e 4 decelerated and entered the lunar orbit at 16:45 h Beijing Time (8:45 h UTC) on 12 December, completing a vital step on its way to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced. After flying about 110 hours from Earth, an engine on the probe was ignited when it was 129 km above the surface of the Moon, in line with instructions sent from a control center in Beijing at 16:39 h, and then the probe slowed and entered an elliptical lunar orbit with the perilune at about 100 km at 16:45 h Beijing Time, said CNSA.
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related:
Chang’e-4 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit - Next stop: the Lunar Farside

 

 

12 December 2018
Eric Berger writes on the webportal arsTECHNICA: "China has an increasingly ambitious space program, which it views as critical to establishing itself as a global superpower. China has both military ambitions in space (where some of its technologies rival the United States'), as well as a desire for international prestige by doing new and interesting things in space. Sure, NASA has done a lot of amazing things, but it has not done a mission like the one China is attempting. This is one reason why an unprecedented, soft landing on the far side of the Moon is a big deal for the country."
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10 December 2018
Algae can withstand temperatures up to 60 degrees centigrade, and ultraviolet radiation and drought, said Liu Yongding, a researcher at the Wuhan-based Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who has studied algae for over 40 years. Liu has an ambitious goal: letting algae pioneer human migration to Mars. Since 1987, his team has studied algae to support astronauts' long stay in space. They have carried out experiments on six of China's returnable satellites, and biological experiments on the Shenzhou spacecraft. They have worked with German scientists to research the life support system on the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft. They will also carry out experiments on China's future space station.
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07 December 2018
CFOSat, the China-France Oceanography Satellite, has obtained more than 400 pieces of marine environmental data in its first batch of data transmissions, a month after it took off from China's Gobi Desert. The data includes the distribution and moves of cyclones, location and intensity of typhoons, which helps researchers forecast the weather more accurately, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources. Liu Jianqiang, the project's Chinese Chief Scientist, who is also a Deputy Director-General of the Ocean Satellite Center of Ministry of Natural Resources, told media that the satellite, still in the test phase, is expected to operate after three months.
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10 December 2018
China will launch a reusable retrievable satellite next year, with its recoverable module able to be used 15 times over the next decade, according to the China Aerospace Science & Technology Corp. The new-generation retrievable satellite, being developed by CAST, is a reusable satellite which allows experiments and other payloads to be sent to space and later recovered. The 3,500-kilogram satellite will be offered in short-term and long-term configurations, with the former running on battery power alone and the later carrying solar arrays. It will be capable of carrying up to 500 to 600 kilograms of recoverable payload.
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10 December 2018
The second orbit trimming for China's Chang'e 4 lunar probe was completed on the afternoon of 09 December at Kashgar Observation and Control Station in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The second orbit modification aims at confirming the status of the probe and check whether it can receive the information, laying the foundation for the next modification. "We have just completed the second orbit modification for Cheng'e 4 and then we will conduct the third one to ensure that it can precisely enter the lunar orbit and prepare for a soft landing of the probe," said Li Peng, an assistant engineer with Kashgar Observation and Control Station.
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