Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

How China Landed the Change'4 Rover on the Far Side of the Moon


A view of the far side of the Moon.

The Chinese National Space Administration has set its Chang'e-4 lander and rover down on the far side of the Moon.

Credit: China National Space Administration/EPA

The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) has achieved a first in human space exploration, placing its Chang'e-4 lander and rover on the far side of the Moon using a downward-looking camera and hazard avoidance software to steer itself to a flat and sufficiently boulder-free landing spot.

This is an impressive technological feat given that any spacecraft on the lunar far side cannot "see" the Earth, and therefore can neither send nor receive a radio signal from its control center on Earth.

To address that problem, CNSA placed a relay satellite in a "halo orbit" around a point in space where it can see both the lunar far side and the Earth above the lunar horizon.

The solar-powered six-wheeled rover aboard the spacecraft is equipped with ground-penetrating radar, an imaging spectrometer, and an instrument to observe how the solar wind interacts with the Moon's surface.

From Newsweek
View Full Article

 

Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

No entries found