a Freelance Journalist and author focusing on air and space travel, astronomy, physics, and technology. Not works, when he looks straight Nasa-TV, for various Newspapers and magazines In the country and abroad. Before the step into self-employment and editor-in-chief of science magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung, as well as head of science in Spiegel Online Know. A graduate of the German school of journalism (DJS) in Munich.on Twitter, send an E-Mail
if you want to explore unknown worlds in the Depths of space, doesn't need to fly so far to follow. Directly in front of the underground door-to-door, only 380 000 kilometers away from earth, is one of the least explored places in the solar system: the far side of the moon. Since the satellite of the earth of mankind turns to the same page - caused by a phenomenon that astronomers bound Rotation, could see no earthly telescope on the far side of the moon. And no space probe has succeeded, there, gently. Exactly, China wants to change now - with the first robotic landing on the far side of the moon.
Chang'e 4 the Mission, which is expected to lift off this Friday evening (CET) from the launch site Xichang in southwest China. Everything as planned, then it works, the approximately 1.2-ton lander could put already at the end of the month, but no later than the beginning of 2019 in the South pole-Aitken basin, an up to 13 km deep impact crater near the lunar South pole. A little later, then a small 140-kilogram robot that was previously parked on the Chang'e 4 to roll, in the moon dust, and with its instruments to explore the surroundings.
For the Chinese engineers are all basically nothing New. Five years ago, they have the technology and the processes already extensively test - however, on the erdzugewandten side of the moon. 14. December 2013 sat there, the largely identical predecessor mission Chang'e 3; it was the first soft landing on the moon for 37 years. Also, at the time, parked a rolling robot, a so-called Rover, on the probe: Yutu, the Jadehase. He held, however, only 114 yards, and then he remained stuck. Probably the extremely fine and aggressive moon dust of the Mechanics had.space travel
want to Haphazardly tie in to All
the reliability of the Rovers have been able to increase by a "small, targeted improvements" in the meantime, clearly, said Li Ming, Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of space technology, at the International Astronautical Congress IAC in the beginning of October in Bremen. Details not want to call Li.
The big challenge is already somewhere else. Gorabet Since the back side of the moon from the earth can not be seen, can also be no signals directly to the probe or to receive sent. China's space so you have to rely on a relay station. You have stationed already in may a satellite in the so-called second Lagrange point - a fixed point more than 60 000 kilometers behind the moon, where both the back as well as the earth to remain constantly in the field of view.
Queqiao means the high-flying brokerage, the "magpies bridge" - inspired by a Chinese fairy tale in which two Lovers only by a bridge formed by magpies, can find each other. Now Queqiao with its four-metre parabolic antenna of the terrestrial engineers and Chang'e 4 is intended to bring, or in English "the moon goddess", together.In the 2030s could possibly be the first Chinese on the moon landing
There are a lot of speech is needed: The scientific program of Chang'e 4 is densely Packed. The probe should examine not only the chemical composition of the lunar soil on the far side, you should also take advantage of the local characteristics of your unusual landing site. Since the far side of the moon is located in the radio shadow of the earth, interfere with no man-made electromagnetic waves, the view out into space. Astronomical observations using radio waves, therefore, are at the very top of the Chinese Agenda.
On Board, but seed is also a three-kilogram Box with a Potato, a weed called Arabidopsis thaliana and larvae of silkworms. Researchers want to show that insects and plants can work together to thrive in the space by the plant process from the crawler-generated carbon dioxide and, in turn, via photosynthesis produce the oxygen that animals need. A at the University of Kiel developed dosimeters should also measure the radiation exposure on the far side of the moon, with a view to possible landings of astronauts.
China, however, this is not just about science. It's also about national Prestige, is to make the citizens proud. The Communist party is pursuing around the moon a clear, strategic Plan: orbiting, landing, sample collection, and at some point people settle. After point one and two are now completed or addressed, then the soil samples. Chang'e 5 and 6 to do this. The first trial could begin as early as next year, initially on the erdzugewandten side of the moon.
Up to two kilograms of Rock to see Chang'e 5 there and back to earth to transport. It is the first moon gift would be, since 1976, when the Soviet Luna-24-Mission 170 Packed grams of moon dust. In the 2030er years could end up the first Chinese on the moon, where there are still no concrete plans.
Instead, there is a different offer: The people's Republic is using the space in recent times, quite deliberately, to global partnerships and to gain worldwide recognition. At the IAC in Bremen, China's space chief Zhang Kejian announced, therefore, that international partners could send in Chang'e 6, the second sample mission, a ten-kilogram Experiment. And which country was also always fly next to the side of the moon, it might be of use as Zhang, to contact, of course, Queqiao, China bridge of magpies.