Tag Archives: landing

China declares its Moon landing a success as it releases photos of the far side of the Moon

China declares its Moon landing a success as it releases photos of the far side of the MoonChina has plenty of reason to celebrate here in early 2019, and not just because it's a new year. The country's space agency, CNSA, successfully landed its Chang'e 4 lunar lander on the far side of the Moon and deployed a rover which scientists will use to study the surface.

It's a monumental achievement for China, which has been playing a bit of "catch up" in space exploration lately. Now, with its rover exploring the hidden side of the Moon for the first time, the country is declaring the mission a success, and it's shared some new images to boot.

"The No. 4 mission is the first mission of the fourth phase of China's lunar exploration project," CNSA said in a translated statement. "For the first time in human history, the spacecraft made a soft landing and patrol survey on the back of the moon, and for the first time realized the relay communication with the Earth on the back of the moon, and with many countries."

CNSA emphasized that the success of the mission was thanks to cooperation and contributions from many different countries, citing "significant international cooperation" a major reason for the mission's success. CNSA also published some new panorama and 360-degree images taken by the lander.

While China certainly has reason to celebrate the accomplishments thus far with the Chang'e 4 mission, the country still has months of scientific observation and study ahead of it before it can declare all of its objectives complete.

One of the most interesting experiments that CNSA will carry out is the observation of a "Lunar Micro Ecosystem" which was installed on the lander prior to its departure. A small module contains a self-sustaining ecosystems consisting of plants, soil, water, and silkworms. The enclosed unit will be used to study the effects of low gravity on an Earth-like ecosystem, but that will take some time.

The lander's mission is expected to stretch on for a full year, while the rover will have a shorter three-month mission. China's declaration of success obviously doesn't mean it's ready to wrap things up, but it's nice to know the country's space agency is happy with what it's accomplished thus far.



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China lunar mission: probe makes historic landing on far side of moon

China lunar mission: probe makes historic landing on far side of moonA Chinese spacecraft has made the first successful landing ever on the far side of the moon, a mission seen as an important step as the country looks to push forward its space programme.  The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 am and relayed a photo of the "dark side" of the moon to the Queqiao satellite, the official China Central Television reported on Thursday. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side – or the "dark side" – is never visible from Earth. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon, but none has landed on it. The landing "lifted the mysterious veil" from the far side of the moon, and "opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration", the broadcaster said.  China launched the Chang'e-4 probe earlier this month, carried by a Long March-3B rocket. It includes a lander and a rover to explore the surface of the moon. An image taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe after its landing Credit: AP "The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference of radio signals from Earth," mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to Xinhua. "This probe can fill the gap of low-frequency observation in radio astronomy and will provide important information for studying the origin of stars and nebula evolution." Unlike the near side of the moon that offers many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is mountainous and rugged. The tasks of the Chang'e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon's terrain, landform and mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon. The near side (l) and far side (r) of the Moon show marked differences China aims to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year. However, while China has insisted its ambitions are purely peaceful, the US Defence Department has accused it of pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations from using space-based assets during a crisis. Apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles and the US Congress has banned Nasa from bilateral cooperation with its Chinese counterpart due to security concerns. A simulated landing process of Chang'e-4 lunar probe is seen through the monitor at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing Credit: AP The United States is so far the only country to have landed humans on the moon. US President Donald Trump said in 2017 he wants to return astronauts to the lunar surface and establish a foundation there for an eventual mission to Mars. It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the moon's mysterious and heavily cratered "dark side". No lander or rover has ever previously touched the surface there, and it is no easy technological feat – China has been preparing for this moment for years. The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe Credit: Barcroft images A major challenge for such a mission was communicating with the robotic lander: as there is no direct "line of sight" for signals to the far side of the moon. As a solution, China in May blasted the Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge") satellite into the moon's orbit, positioning it at a 'Lagrange point' so that it can relay data and commands between the lander and Earth. A Lagrange point is a location in space where the combined gravitational forces of two large bodies, such as Earth and the sun or Earth and the moon, equal the centrifugal force felt by a much smaller third body. The interaction of the forces creates a point of equilibrium where a spacecraft may be "parked" to make observations. In another extreme hurdle, during the lunar night – which lasts 14 Earth days – temperatures drop to as low as minus 173 degrees Celsius (minus 279 Fahrenheit). Long March-3B rocket carrying Chang'e 4 lunar probe takes off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre Credit: Reuters During the lunar day, also lasting 14 Earth days, temperatures soar as high as 127 C (261 F). The rover's instruments have to withstand those fluctuations and it has to generate enough energy to sustain it during the long night. The pioneering landing demonstrates China's growing ambitions as a space power.  In 2013, Chang'e 3 was the first spacecraft to land on the moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976. China plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples – the first time that will have been done since 1976.



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Delta flight makes emergency landing on Alaskan island due to 'a potential engine issue'

Delta flight makes emergency landing on Alaskan island due to 'a potential engine issue'Delta Air Lines passengers faced a Christmas Eve scare when a Seattle-bound flight made an emergency landing on a small Alaskan Island.



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China launches rover for first far side of the moon landing

China launches rover for first far side of the moon landingChina launched a rover early Saturday destined to land on the far side of the moon, a global first that would boost Beijing’s ambitions to become a space superpower, state media said. The Chang’e-4 lunar probe mission — named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology — launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the southwestern Xichang launch centre at 2:23 am (1823 GMT), according to the official Xinhua news agency. The blast-off marked the start of a long journey to the far side of the moon for the Chang’e-4 mission, expected to land around the New Year to carry out experiments and survey the untrodden terrain.



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Ocasio-Cortez says climate crisis will be the moon landing, civil rights movement and Great Society of this generation

Ocasio-Cortez says climate crisis will be the moon landing, civil rights movement and Great Society of this generationRep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said fighting climate change will require bold action akin to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal or NASA’s Apollo program.



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Next US moon landing will be by private companies, not NASA

Next US moon landing will be by private companies, not NASACAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — America's next moon landing will be made by private companies — not NASA.



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Before Mars landing, a nail-biting 'six and a half minutes of terror'

Before Mars landing, a nail-biting 'six and a half minutes of terror'“There is very little room for things to go wrong,” said Rob Grover, head of the entry, descent and landing team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. If successful, the entry, descent and landing of the Mars InSight — designed to be the first mission to listen to the interior of another planet and reveal how rocky planets formed — will add another success to NASA’s record when it comes to sending spacecraft to Mars.



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NASA counts down to landing of Martian quake-sensor, InSight

NASA counts down to landing of Martian quake-sensor, InSightNASA is counting down to a nail-biting touchdown Monday of the $ 993 million Mars InSight, the first spacecraft to listen for quakes and study the inner workings of another rocky planet. No one is on board the spacecraft, which launched nearly seven months ago and has traveled some 300 million miles (482 million kilometers). The lander is the first to reach Mars since 2012, when NASA’s Curiosity rover touched down to scour the surface and analyze rocks for signs that life forms may once have inhabited Earth’s neighbor, now a frigid and dry planet.



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Plane Carrying Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Forced to Abort Landing in Sydney

Plane Carrying Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Forced to Abort Landing in SydneyA plane carrying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had to abort its landing at Sydney airport because there was another aircraft on the runway



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U.S. and Russian Astronauts Safe After Making Emergency Landing When Booster Rocket Failed on Launch

U.S. and Russian Astronauts Safe After Making Emergency Landing When Booster Rocket Failed on LaunchThe launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program



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