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The first science results from the unprecedented Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission are in. The mission’s Yutu-2 rover, deployed from the lander shortly after the Chang’e-4 landing on 3 January, has, with the help of the Queqiao relay satellite, returned data which suggests it has discovered material derived from the Moon’s mantle.
According to amateur spacecraft tracker Daniel Estévez, Longjiang-2 will crash into the Moon on 31 July after more than a year in lunar orbit.
China has big plans for the future, including lunar sample return, a robotic research base, and potentially human missions.
The rover is named Yutu-2, China's space agency announced.
It’s a space feat no nation has accomplished until now.
Following a 4.6-day cruise, on 12 December at 8:45 Beijing time (16:45 UTC), the spacecraft arrived in lunar orbit, preparing for a landing in early January.
At 02:22 local time 8 December (18:22 on 7 December UTC), a Long March 3B lifted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center, carrying the Chang'e-4 lander and rover toward the Moon.
With my first issue of The Planetary Report as editor, I am taking the magazine open-access. Return to Mercury features articles by Elsa Montagnon on BepiColombo and by Long Xiao on the Chang'e-4 and -5 landers.
Long Xiao previews two ambitious Chinese lunar missions, one of which will make the first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon.
It took 24 days for Queiqiao to reach an Earth-Moon L2 halo orbit.
See the world through the eyes of Longjiang-2.
China's fourth lunar mission, Chang’e 4, is expected to begin on May 21 with the launch of a Long March 4C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwest of China. The launch will carry a spacecraft named Queqiao, which will serve as a communication relay satellite between Earth and the lunar farside.
Three launches to the Moon and one each to Mercury and Mars; two arrivals at near-Earth asteroids; and an approach to an encounter with a distant Kuiper belt object are highlights we anticipate in 2018.
China is making steady progress on a proposed mission to bring a piece of Mars back to Earth in the late 2020s.
How were the Chang'e 5 and 4 landing sites chosen? Space exploration historian Phil Stooke explains.
Later this year, China is launching the Change'5 spacecraft to return a sample from the Moon. The mission will pave the way for future ambitions, including crewed trips to the lunar surface.
Over nearly 60 years of spacecraft exploration of the Moon, lots of spacecraft have crashed on the lunar surface—some accidental, some intentional. Phil Stooke hunts for their impact sites.
ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter arrives on October 19, and it will deliver the Schiaparelli lander to its brief life on the Martian surface. Juno's headed into its science orbit, MOM has released science data, and New Horizons will finally finish downlinking Pluto flyby data.
Despite what you may have read on other websites last week, China's Yutu lunar rover is probably still functional on the surface of the Moon.
The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.