Chang'e 5 atmospheric re-entry and parachute ejection system tested.
A paper (in Chinese) on the design of the Chang'e sample return drill. it includes a nice CAD view of the probe
Today's bland news from Xinhua News Agency... but.... what is Chang'e 4 going to do?
A repeat of Chang'e 3 with a new Rover?
BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- China plans to launch lunar probe Chang'e 5 in 2017, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for
National Defense. The development of Chang'e 5 is proceeding smoothly, said the administration's spokesman Wu Zhijian at a press conference on Monday.
The just-concluded Chang'e 3 mission marked completion of the second phase of the country's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.
The lunar program will enter the next stage of unmanned sampling and returning, which will include Chang'e 5 and 6 missions, according to Wu.
The feeling among China-watchers seems to be that Chang'E 4 will do what CE2 did for CE1 - if CE1 failed it's a simple back-up, but when CE1 succeeded, CE2 became an opportunity to test advanced technology. It flew a direct route to the Moon instead of several increasing orbits, it carried advanced cameras, it flew a more complex orbital mission including low altitude flyovers of the landing area for very high resolution imaging.
So for CE4 there are reports it will carry advanced auto-navigation software. And my impression now is that it may test sample collection and handling tools as well. All in preparation for CE5 and CE6. So still a rover mission, but more advanced.
May they also try re-igniting the lander's main engine to send it on a ballistic
hop to a different site? I think Surveyor did that, albeit to only a few feet away to enable
stereo coverage of the surrounding area. They may not wish to do the same with Chang'e 3
as it marks, more so than the rover, the site of the first Chinese landing on the Moon.
No, I read that one of the first tasks for the lander was to vent the propulsion system.
From the same article, I thought this was significant:
The lunar program will enter the next stage of unmanned sampling and returning, which will include Chang'e-5 and 6 missions, according to Wu.
"The program's third phase will be more difficult because many breakthroughs must be made in key technologies such as moon surface takeoff,
sampling encapsulation, rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and high-speed Earth reentry, which are all new to China," Wu said.
Rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit is curious, as this diagram previously released seems to show a return capsule lifting directly off the moon' surface,
like the Soviet Luna 16 etc. You wouldn't carry the weight of an earth-return capsule down to the lunar surface if you planned to transfer the samples
in lunar orbit.
Dekuji, thanks.... that makes more sense when we see the size of the return module in this recent test.
I suspect that the planned trip of spaceship Chang'e-5 to the Moon is due to the required time to upgrade the capacity of rocket to send a much heavier Chang'e-5.
I feel that the design of the sample return can be used as proof in concept for future planetary missions such as a Mars sample return like we have been wanting for decades.
Whilst some technology could be carried across - the requirement for Mars ascent and lunar ascent are very different. 2x the gravity, plus an atmosphere to deal with. The two vehicles would be very different.
Add here is some lastest news for China's Chang'e Project 4&5 and manned Lunar exploration,
People.com.cn Guangzhou on 25 December, (Sun Lu) yesterday morning, "the father", China academician Ye Peijian guest lectures "Pearl River Science Forum", the Chinese lunar and deep space exploration, said the return mode Chang'e five innovation, and before the rumors of the "abolition of China's manned moon" the false news responded.
As China space vehicle and information processing expert Ye Peijian, a former Chang'e-1 satellite system commander and chief designer. The aerospace technology group science and Technology Committee consultant, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the chief scientist of three probe system Chang'e five chief designer, commander in chief expert consultants, space science and deep space exploration.
"Rabbit" Rover "hibernation early this morning"
According to Ye Peijian introduction, as the moon moves around the earth is round 28 days, the moon day is 28 Earth days, so one day the moon is the earth's 14 days, the moon for one night is 14 Earth days, yesterday to today to enter the moonlit night, the temperature will drop to minus 170 degrees and the night without the sun, no power, the lunar rover to "freeze", so today's morning of lunar rover is set to a state of hibernation. But still need it "live" good work, so in the lander and Rover on the China first use nuclear isotope fever, let the rover can maintain the lowest living conditions in 170 case. In addition, also set up a wake-up circuit, by the time of next month, the sun will rise up, try to "wake up", but is feasible remains to be proved.
Chang'e five return mode innovation
Ye Jianpei described the Chang'e five from launch to the whole procedure returns.
The goddess of the moon will be five to the newly established Hainan launch site, using the newly developed long march five launch, it consists of 4 components, the lander, riser, the orbiter, return device. Combination of these 4 devices to the orbit of the moon, to the orbit of the moon after the orbiter, return to a portfolio, the lander, which is a combination of rising, the two combination, the lander with riser like Chang'e three, lower in the predetermined area.
There are two robot lander, a mechanical hand sampling, on the surface of the moon packaging into the container, the other a robot on the moon drilling 2 meters deep underground, collecting samples and packaging. The manipulator will be transferred to the container after rising for lander, a riser will take off from the lunar surface, to enter the moon's orbit, the orbiter and return device combination to chase it, meeting together, put up inside the samples back to the transfer device, and then the riser away, orbiter and return device around the moon back to earth.
Ye Peijian said, Chang'e five return there will be a great innovation. The past is returned directly, this time in order to solve the landing, landing angle to adjust the impact of the problem, decided to separate into the atmosphere to 60 km does not come back, then jumped back to the universe, then jump back to the atmosphere, and then come back. "In this way, the longer the distance, go longer, we can get a lot of benefits, can reduce fever, reduce the landing angle and so on, this return mode will also be the first test of our."
Ye Jianpei also shows that, in order to increase the reliability, will be the first emission tester, which is the next launch Chang'e four. Chang'e four will hit the moon but not fall months, its return device and Chang'e five return device as like as two peas, can be used to verify this return mode.
At present China not manned lunar program
For before the Internet will cancel the manned moon landing plan in our country the news, Ye Peijian uses three words summed up China's attitude to the manned moon landing plan ": first, the human to conquer space must first go to the moon, the Americans have been to, Chinese must go, Chinese will be able to; second, at present our country has no manned moon landing plan, therefore also does not matter a few days before the Internet to cancel the plan is not groundless statement, this plan would not cancel; third, no manned landing on the moon has a national plan to watch the national strength, comprehensive national development needs, with the development of national economy and science ability the progress of technology, I think Chinese has been late to the manned lunar landing."
At the same time, Ye Peijian also revealed that a recent edition of the white paper has clearly put forward the Aerospace China has begun to research on the key technology of manned lunar landing, expressed the hope to see Chinese landed on the moon in the rest of one's life.
ADMIN NOTE: A PM was sent to Gofar about the Forum rules on discussion of 'manned spaceflight'. As this is one of their first posts and simply a translation, no action is required. Obviously no further discussion needs to be entered into on the subject. Thanks all.
The Chinese are going to launch a prototype of the CE-5 descent module on a free-return trajectory around the Moon and back this October: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/10/c_133546027.htm
(this has been known for some time, but not well advertised by the Chinese. Given this is flying before IXV and EFT-1 maybe we need a dedicated thread here now? )
According to http://www.space.com/27011-china-moon-orbiter-recoverable-prototype-launch.html, the Chang'e 5 prototype will be an orbiter and will be called Chang'e 4. It is the backup for Chang'e 3 that has been "adapted to verify the technologies needed for the Chang'e 5 mission". Well, it looks like the Chinese won't send another rover as a follow-up to Chang'e 3. Too bad, from a lunar surface exploration point of view.
The mission numbering might just be an assumption by the writer, Leonard David. It's hard to know anything for certain at the moment. My understanding had been that the sample return test capsule would be carried by an orbiter more like Chang'E 2 , but everything is uncertain until it happens. I still hope for a rover mission to try to overcome the problems experienced by Yutu, but that's just me wishing for something!
Chang'e-5 will be landed in the Oceanus Procellarum
I think Chang'e-4 will also landed here
Thank you for all this very useful information.
Cháng'é-whatevernumber will be launched next October 23:
Will we finally know what is Cháng'é-4 (rover, reentry-test, cancelled, other)?
I tweeted that and had a couple of different people correct me who said that the thing that is launching in October is called Chang'e 5 Test Device, or Chang'e 5 T-1.
There is terrible confusion about this in the media, but it seems clear that there will be a future lander and rover called Chang'E 4, in 2016, which will test the soil-sampling equipment for the sample mission. This re-entry test flight is not Chang'E 4.
I may be wrong but I think I have never seen the test flight of the sample return capsule called "Chang'E 4" in Chinese media
https://t.co/QbooSm1OF8 from August 10, which refers to the impending launch as 嫦娥五号 试验器, Chang'e 5 Test Vehicle.
Paolo, I think you're right - but it's a mess in the western media.
Spaceflight Now's International Launch Schedule bills it as "Chang'e 5 Precursor."
"A Chinese Long March 3C rocket will launch a mission to demonstrate re-entry technologies for the planned Chang'e 5 lunar sample return mission."
They call it "Chang'e 5-T1", but I wonder if the "T1" is really official.
With respect to Chang'e-4, I found at nasaspaceflight.com the following http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34162.msg1272092#msg1272092
(« Reply #38 on: 10/16/2014 11:53 PM ») from User "Blackstar":
"Blackstar" on that forum is a science and aerospace writer/historian named Dwayne Day, who has more connections in the industry than most NASA administrators... He may occasionally pass along rumors (as we all do on occasion), but his rumors are usually more reliable than press releases from the various agencies, universities and aerospace firms.
The best information I've heard is that Chang'e 4 will be not only a revamped version of Yutu, but will also test the sample collection and caching systems. Chang'e 5 will then be the sample return mission. What I've not heard is whether the lander that carries the Chang'e 5 rover will also carry the ascent vehicle that will rendezvous with the orbiter with the Earth return capsule.
If they send separate flights with the rover lander, the ascent vehicle and the Earth return orbiter, the rover will have to be able to make its way to the ascent vehicle to deliver its samples. This would make this a combination LOR/LSR mission architecture -- lunar orbit rendezvous plus lunar surface rendezvous.
I'll be very interested in seeing what they end up doing. If they do it that way, though, they can really do some robust recon and sample return work on the Moon, which will be really interesting to see.
-the other Doug (With my shield, not yet upon it)
as fare as I know, CE-5 will not carry a rover. samples are collected by a robotic arm and the lander carries the ascent rocket to put samples in lunar orbit for rendezvous with the Earth return module.
see for ex http://www.spaceflight101.com/uploads/6/4/0/6/6406961/306814_orig.jpg
Okay, kewl. A rather less robust geological exploration in re the sample return, then. As with the Soviet Luna sample return spacecraft, your selection of samples is limited to the variety available within reach of an arm attached to the lander. Certainly, this is more robust than, say, the seminal APXS systems flown on Surveyor, which had a variety of targets limited to an area less than a square foot (and that only when improvised operations using Surveyor's digging scoop arm to push the APXS sensor away from the ground directly below its deployment housing -- without that improvisation, Surveyor would have a target selection pre-determined by the single spot over which the APXS sensor was located after landing).
It *is* nice that the Chang'e return scheme, as per the illustration, will be a deep core. Such was returned by the final Luna sample return craft, as well (though perhaps not as deep as the Apollo deep cores). But we're not looking at the kind of exploration flexibility and variety, in terms of returned samples, that you could get by roving around and selecting the most interesting samples (both those that represent the common rocks and soils that define the overall area geologically plus the unique and exotic samples that represent rocks thrown into the area from other geological units far away). Yes, you would need to acquire very small samples of each type of rock you find, but that's the same challenge MSR will be facing in the next couple of decades.
I guess the good news is that China is developing an infrastructure for unmanned lunar exploration that can be exploited in a number of ways in the future. Perhaps after the deep-core sample return process has been proven out, we will see the LSR-style rover-cache-plus-separate-return-vehicle architecture developed to provide a truly robust geological exploration capability. At least, one can hope...
-the other Doug (With my shield, not yet upon it)
New lunar mission to test Chang'e-5 technology
English.news.cn 2014-10-22 13:57:53
• China will launch a new lunar mission this week to test technology likely to be used in Chang'e-5.
• The experimental spacecraft is expected to reach a location near the moon and return to Earth.
• Spacecraft's speed will be slowed down so it can land safely at determined location during process.
BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- China will launch a new lunar mission this week to test technology likely to be used in Chang'e-5, a future lunar probe with the ability to return to Earth.
The experimental spacecraft launched this week is expected to reach a location near the moon and return to Earth, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense on Wednesday.
The test model is currently ready and scheduled to be launched between Friday and Sunday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China, with the whole mission taking about eight days.
"The meteorological condition will meet the requirements for the launch," said Tao Zhongshan, chief engineer of the center.
It is the first time China has conducted a test involving a half-orbit around the moon at a height of 380,000 kilometers before having the craft return to Earth.
The return mission will involve the spacecraft entering, exiting, and re-entering Earth's atmosphere and landing, said the administration.
During this process, the spacecraft's speed will be slowed down so it can land safely at a determined location, a key capability needed for Chang'e-5, which is expected to return from the moon at a velocity of 11.2 kilometers per second, according to the scientists' explanation.
China's advanced Long March-3C carrier rocket will make its debut during the test.
The Chang'e-5 probe, expected to launch in 2017, will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth.
"Apart from the technology of self-returning to Earth, the probe will make breakthrough in sample collecting, moon surface takeoff, rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit," said Hu Hao, chief designer of the third phase of China's lunar probe project.
China carried out Chang'e-1 and Chang'e-2 missions in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
In December, 2013, Chang'e-3 lunar probe succeeded in soft landing on the moon, with the country's first moon rover on board. The Chang'e-3 mission marked completion of the second phase of China's lunar program, which includes orbiting, landing and returning to Earth.
PS, from other newest report, this test spacecraft will also carry two nanosatellite made by Luxembourg and Denmark, named "4M Radio Beacon" and "Pocket Spaceship PS86X1", will be released near the moon and flyby the moon.
..and it's off:
interestingly, the mission profile appears similar to that of the soviet zond missions of the late 1960s.
Looks like a black-and-white picture of Earth that has been tinted blue.
-the other Doug (With my shield, not yet upon it)
would be interesting to know whether it comes from a proper "2D" camera, i.e. not a pushbroom one like on CE-1 and -2 or from an engineering webcam like those on CE-2
More likely just the quality of the monitor it was screen-captured from.
Yeah, possibly a monitor issue. But there are no colors in that image except blue -- not even white. The clouds are just a lighter blue than the rest of the image. If it's a color image, there are no land masses visible and the white clouds have been heavily tinted.
It still looks like a tinted gray-scale image to me, to be honest. I get the feeling that if you just drew the blue channel down to where the clouds are white, the rest of the image would become gray.
-the other Doug (With my shield, not yet upon it)
I didn't notice it before... the phase of the Moon when CE-5 T1 fies by Tuesday morning will be similar to that of the Luna 3 flyby 55 years ago. so more or less the same portion of the farside will be illuminated
CE-5T1 has taken some photos of moon and earth，very beautiful！
Yes, very beautiful. That's Mare Marginis and the crater Neper on its southern (bottom) edge in the first image.
Now, *that* ain't a tinted-blue B&W pic of Earth! Very nice.
-the other Doug (With my shield, not yet upon it)
Phil, Cosmic Penguin: what do you think the correct image credit is on these photos?
My best guess is CAST - the China Academy of Space Technology.
I can't make sense of the illumination angle in the middle image. The Moon looks to be lit a little more from below and the Earth a little more from the side. Is it just me?
EDIT: the explanation lies in this being a wide angle view. It makes sense when the image is viewed from close enough. (Earth should subtend around 2 degrees.)
Successful reentry and landing! Here's Emily's blog article:
I can't find an English-language source for this so far, but I'm very curious about the trajectory of the 'skip' that it did before reentry. Where did it execute this maneuver (i.e., over what part of the Earth)? Wondering how far it skipped.
Thanks. I was looking for something with more detail about the reentry maneuver itself, but it's possible--even likely, I guess--that that information is not publicly available.
I am relaying some images taken by a PLA journalist at the control center and posted at http://www.81.cn/jwgz/2014-11/01/content_6206104.htm , including an actual image during the reentry phase.
At page 11 of that webpage, there is a cartoon showing the procedure of the process. Emily's making a good point (https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/528366721875193857) that the service module might still be in the orbit. The cartoon mentioned that a maneuver was performed "to avoid collision with the capsule" but I am not seeing any information about the service module after the separation.
Thank you VERY much, Yeh and A. Nemo. Congratulations to China for this successful mission!
Chang'e 5 T1 service module mission extends to May 2015. The module will fly to EML2 point first, and then to a lunar orbit.
Really! That's unexpected, and very interesting. What are the objectives of these maneuvers, Yeh? I'm guessing navigation practice and additional systems testing.
the L2 extension clearly shows that they are considering a farside landing mission for the future, for which a relay at the L2 would be almost necessary.
in fact, are there any hint of the extension of the unmanned Chang'e program beyond CE-6?
I have not heard of any extension. Conceivably Chang'E 4 could be targeted to the far side, becoming the first landing ever in that hemisphere.
Chang'E 2 only obtained the very high resolution images of its landing area around Sinus Iridum. Originally I thought that limited missions 4, 5 and 6 to that area, probably two rovers and then two sample returns in the two very distinct mare units.
Since then there have been rumors that the next landing site and the first sample return might be in Oceanus Procellarum (my guess: in the youngest mare basalt region south of Aristarchus Plateau). Now we hear about the far side. It would be a great thing to do, but I can't imagine it being the first sample return. So maybe that's a more suitable destination for Chang'E 6.
SASTIND have released a new photo of earth and moon
when CE5T1 taken this photo, earth was 540000km away and moon was 920000km away
according to CNR, CE5T1 have been inserted earth-moon lagrangian point-2 on november 27,2014
this xinhua article discusses future plans for CE5T1:
from Google translate:
" lunar exploration phase III reentry return flight test (referred to as "Dumbo" )"
What? Not an homage to the flying elephant, presumably... I wonder what it means.
If I understand correctly, the probe has been nicknamed Xiaofei (小飞) in Chinese, meaning "little fly", or maybe "little flyer". and that's also the Chinese name of Disney's Dumbo
Ah... that's the connection. Very interesting!
Cháng'é-5 T1 (or what's remaining from it)
has left Earth-Lunar L2 and returns to moon orbit.
CE-5-T1 left EM-L2 at around 15:00 UTC on Jan. 4 and is scheduled to reach lunar orbit by mid-January. As of midnight UTC on Jan. 5 the spacecraft is 445000 km from Earth and 57000 km from the Moon.
http://news.xinhuanet.com/tech/2014-12/02/c_1113493000.htm it will do at least 2 things in lunar orbit. In February and March it will perform 2 "virtual target" rendezvous tests for the future CE-5 mission (not unlike how the Shuttle did "dummy rendezvous" tests in the 1980s). In April the small monitoring camera will be used to obtain higher resolution photos of CE-5's landing zone.
And CE-5-T1 has entered lunar orbit yesterday at around 19:00 UTC - initial orbit is 200 x 5300 km with period of 8 hours. It will make 2 more burns over the next 2 days to lower its orbit to a 200 km circular one with period of 127 minutes.
Anatoly Zak has an article here with images of Earth and the Moon taken from L2:
A lower orbit now: http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/01/21/chinese-pathfinder-probe-arrives-in-lunar-orbit/
Images of the potential sample return landing sight coming in April, apparently (but nothing yet on where).
Suggestions have been circulated that the region will be Oceanus Procellarum. I have suggested that the most likely area would be the area of the youngest known mare basalts (determined from crater counting), south of Aristarchus. This is (one of the top scientific targets on many lists as it shows how long mare volcanism continued. A secondary goal would be Aristarchus ejecta, and a tertiary goal would be ejecta thrown off the nearby Aristarchus Plateau.
Leonard David has posted this visualisation of the Chinese sample return mission taking off from the moon.
It fits very well with the design drawing shown in Post #9 in this thread. It also lays to rest the older design portrayed in Post #8.
News that the Chang'E 5 T-1 test vehicle, still orbiting the moon, began imaging potential landing sits in May. No images released yet.
May 28 15:10 pm camera power is first applied a test shot, successfully shot two minutes of the Earth video, get a clear image of the earth. After the implementation of the third lunar imaging, to obtain images of more than 3,000 frames, good image quality.
The imaging camera to obtain a 2.5m resolution images of the lunar surface, indicating that the camera is operating normally in orbit long for the subsequent expansion of tasks carried out to provide a strong guarantee.
[China Academy of Space Technology copyright owners, please indicate the source]
Was the full mosaic in this article released already? I seem to recall only seeing the single frame with Earth and the lunar far side visible.
Yes, that has been out for a while.
CE5T1 completes imaging CE5's landing zone: http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2015-09-02/203732269747.shtml (Chinese)
The resolution is said to be 1m/pix. CE5T1 also verify the techniques needed to control the ascending module and service module.
One way to interpret the Chinese text is that this imaging from 30 Aug. to 2 Sept completed the imaging of the fifth potential landing site. I don't know where any of them are yet - if anyone knows please let me know. But nice to know there are five candidates.
EDIT - the more I think about it, the more I suspect that the 'fifth' referred to is the fifth spacecraft, Chang'E 5. Google Translate is a blunt instrument for probing difficult questions. There might only be one site after all. I hope we will learn more soon.
EDIT AGAIN - a bit of detective work. The terminator was crossing the Mare Crisium area over the few days the images were taken. I had been expecting a landing in Oceanus Procellarum, but the sun would have been overhead there, and these images have shadows suggesting a lower sun elevation. Possibly a site in the eastern maria, but west of Crisium. Not much to go on yet.
Is there anything that indicates whether Chang'e 5 T1 is being used to image the potential farside landing site of Chang'e 4?
Came across http://www.cast.cn/CastCn/Show.asp?ArticleID=48986, but I can't make heads or tails of the Google translation.
AGU abstract - it says the landing site is in the northeastern part of Oceanus Procellarum.
Tweet from IAC:
Peter B. de Selding @pbdes · Oct 12
China space admin chief Xu: Lunar sample return mission in 2017, lander on far side in 2018, lander/rover combination in 2020.#IAC2015
(de Selding is with spacenews.com)
The web site of http://www.must.edu.mo/ISLPS2016/ links to a nice collection of abstracts ( see link at bottom left) including several that specifically focus on the Chang'e series of missions.
I note in particular the one by one by Zhao et al (p78) where it is stated that "Mons Rümker is .. a priority landing site for Chang’E-5."
I would take the cautious view that this site has been shortlisted and is presently in the top x, rather than being first on the list.
This is the same information presented at LPSC. Another bit of news is here:
I used Google to translate it - it mentions landing near Sinus Iridum, but is not clear what 'near' means. Elsewhere we have been told 1000 km from Sinus Iridum.
That link includes some images with chinese text - any advice on their content would be appreciated.
Some new images of the CE5 return capsule being prepared. I am still waiting for news on the landing site location... maybe that will come at LPSC in March.
Update on Chang'E 5 landing site selection. Not at LPSC, but at the European Geoscience meeting in April:
Summarizing, the pre-selected landing region for CE-5 extends from 41 degrees to 45 degrees N and 49 degrees to 69 W, in northern Oceanus Procellarum west of Montes Jura and north of Mons Rümker. After an analysis of the topography and geologic units, seven sites were shortlisted, in the vicinity of 43 N, 55 W. This is in an area of younger basalts, probably younger than anything sampled before. A significant bit of science.
Here's a map of the area:
And a closer view of the target area - it's the smooth patch in the middle of this scene.
And finally, to show that the precursor mission Chang'E 5 T1 actually did image the landing area, here is the location of one of its images:
I have located the second image now, on the western edge of the first one at 42.763 N, 61.120 W. I will post a graphic when I have time.
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