Another Step Towards The Chang’e-4 Lunar Probe

The Chang’e-4 lunar probe is expected to make a soft landing on the far side of the Moon at the end of this year, but it is not a one-and-done mission. Several steps need to be taken beforehand, with one just being recently completed: one of the required relay satellites has entered its mission orbit, the China National Space Administration announced on Thursday.

 

 

The satellite, named Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge, launched on May 21st, entered halo orbit around the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the Earth-Moon system about 65,000 km from the Moon at 11:06 a.m. Beijing Time on Thursday after a journey of more than 20 days.

 

 

 

 

“The satellite is the world’s first communication satellite operating in that orbit, and will lay the foundation for the Chang’e-4, which is expected to become world’s first probe soft-landing and roving on the far side of the Moon,” said Zhang Hongtai, president of the China Academy of Space Technology.

 

 

Editor: Yolanda