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The Jadehase rolls, while the probe of the moon-bred potatoes

After the first landing on the far side of the moon, China has taken the robot vehicle of the Mission in operation. "Yutu 2", translated the "Jadehase 2", rolled out on Thursday evening of the lander "Chang'e 4" and touched for the first time, the surface of the moon. This is the Chinese space Agency CNSA announced on its website. On a to earth the sent recording, the vehicle is seen with folded Solar cells. Previously, it was driven by a ramp and left with his tires making the first tracks in the loose lunar soil.

China had written hours earlier with the landing of the "Chang'e 4" space travel history. It was the first Time that a probe put on the earth-facing side of the moon. The unmanned probe landed on Aitken crater near the South pole of the moon. The chief engineer of the Mission Sun Zezhou, praised the "extremely precise" landing on the moon. The probe was "placed gently", he told the state broadcaster CCTV. They had landed in a "perfect place", "right in the heart of the Zone, which we had provided for it". "We are now building China's air and space power," said the chief engineer of the Chinese lunar program, Wu Weiren,.

to Keep potatoes and silkworms the scale?

The six-wheeled probe weighs approximately 140 kilograms and is about one and a half feet tall. You should explore for three months on the far moon side, there is the untouched Terrain and scientific experiments. On Board the Rover, a camera, a ground-penetrating radar, an imaging spectrometer and a special tool from Sweden, the measure to how the sun acts in the wind with the surface of the moon as the Professor of planetary Geosciences David Rothery, "The Conversation".

On Board the lander is a sealed, approximately three-kilogram biosphere with potato seeds and silkworm eggs that are stimulated to germinate. In order to test whether the production of carbon dioxide by the larvae and the Absorption of carbon dioxide by the photosynthesis of the potato to compensate for seedlings that explains Rothery. "Ultimately, this is a small step towards a sustainable, closed Ecosystem on the moon," said the Professor.

picture gallery: The first images of the probe, Chang'e 4

This Experiment is also a part of the preparations for much more ambitious objectives in space: China plans a base on the moon, a manned space station and a Mars vehicle. The base is supposed to serve for the exploration of the moon as well as a base for missions to Mars. The base should have "multiple tube cabins that connect people Inside with each other and with oxygen supply," it was said in a Video of the CNSA in the spring of 2018, the Chinese media and the British "Telegraph" reported. In addition, Beijing wants to develop by 2021 a reusable rocket that can carry more cargo than the Nasa and the private space travel company SpaceX.

A rocket of the type Long March was on 8. December, launched from the Baikonur Xichang in southwest China's lunar Rover "Chang'e 4" in the direction of the moon. The landing on the moon back is generally regarded as difficult: While the earth-facing side of the moon has a lot of flat Places to Land, is the largely unexplored backside of the moon is significantly more rugged, and mountainous.

in 1959, it was succeeded of the Soviet Union, the first images of the back and to unravel the mystery of the "dark side of the moon", at least in part. The Chinese probe is controlled Aitken basin is located in the vicinity of the South pole of the moon–a very rugged area. The probe must now work under harsh conditions.

Hard constraints

During the lunar night, the 14 days corresponds to the earth, the temperature drops down to minus 173 degrees Celsius. During the lunar day, which lasts 14 days, is it up to 127 degrees. The instruments need to keep these level fluctuations and during the bright time enough energy to get through the dark time.

Also, the communication with the probe is difficult, because the back side of the moon is no direct radio connection can be established. It was, therefore, sent in may, the satellite Queqiao in a special orbit around the earth, through which communication between the earth and the probe "Chang'e 4" to run. The satellite is the second of the five so-called Lagrange points in the earth-moon System. These are points where the gravitational forces and the movements of the earth and the moon interact in such a way that a lighter satellite can be lacking in motivation mitkreisen. Queqiao circles as "L2" designate a point on a small Halo Orbit so that the satellite signals can send the moon to the earth.

Interview: "The Chinese have a Big done" Jan Wörner, the Director-General of the European space Agency, puts the Chinese landing on the moon.

The spacecraft of the Chinese lunar program named after moon goddess Chang'e from Chinese mythology. "Chang'e 4" is the second Chinese lunar probe after the Mission "Yutu" (Jade rabbit) of 2013.

"Yutu" had kept the difficult conditions on the moon. After some initial problems, the probe scanned the moon for 31 months. The success of the Mission gave the Chinese space programme a big boost. This year, the Start of a further probe, "Chang'e 5 is planned to",. You should collect samples and bring back to earth.

Military Dimension

With his space program of the people's Republic followed according to the safety expert Michael Raska of the S. Rajaratnam School of International studies in Singapore also military targets. For the people's liberation army, the space was also the issue of the "strategic location advantage," said Raska.

A strong presence in space will become increasingly important for "all of the early warning Surveillance and reconnaissance to target selection," he said. Meanwhile, almost all of the military missions have been based "on some Form of space capabilities".

correction: An initial Version of this article said that the satellite Queqiao is located in the moon's orbit. In fact, he is on a Halo Orbit around the second Lagrange point.


Created: 04.01.2019, 09:34 PM

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