China launches its Chang’e 4 lander and rover mission to lunar far side

by | Dec 10, 2018 | China, exploration, Launches, Seradata News

While lunar orbiters have imaged the lunar far side before, China is attempting a world first in trying to land its Chang’e 4 lander and rover mission near the South Pole. The first stage of the mission went well with the successful launch of Chang’e 4 on a Long March 3B from the Xichang launch site at 1823 GMT on 7 December 2018.

After briefly being placed into a 250km parking orbit, the third stage fired itself and the Chang’e 4 assembly into a Trans Lunar Injection orbit to reach the Moon three days later. If the landing and the rover deployment are successful, then their signals will be relayed back to Earth by a prepositioned Chang’e 4 mission relay satellite called Queqiao.

The Chang’e 4 lander/rover mission is launched by a Long March 3B from Xichang. Courtesy: CGTN

Update on 12 December 2018: The Chang’e 4 rover/lander assembly entered lunar orbit at circa 0845 GMT on 12 December 2018.

Update on 3 January 2019: On 3 January 2019, China’s Chang’e 4 lander and rover successfully made a landing on the Moon’s lunar far side near its South Pole.

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