IAC 2020 Online: Highlight & GNF lectures show China’s Chang’e 4 success and hopes for NASA Artemis lunar plan

by | Oct 14, 2020 | Blue Origin, exploration, NASA, Seradata News

While the Chinese Chang’e 4 programme’s design team bathed in the success of winning their gong from the IAC (Wu Wieren, Yu Dengyun and Sun Zezhou, were awarded the prestigious IAC’s World Space Award medal), the highlight lecture presented by Dr. Yu Dengyun of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and deputy designer of the Chang’e 4 mission noted his mission successes including China’s first use of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) on a Chinese mission, the innovative use of a relay satellite positioned in a halo orbit the L2 Lagrangian position beyond the Moon on the Earth Moon line, and the fact that the landing achieved was the first on the “dark side” of the Moon.

In addition to the success of the Yutu 2 rover, significant science observations related to subservice measurements were achieved, as was the use of a Very Low Frequency Radio Spectrometer (VLFRS) – a technology ideal for astronomical measurement of starbursts.  Dr Yu emphasised that China had long term palns for a Lunar Research Centre based at the lunar South Pole.

Orion technology is now being used on the National Team’s lunar lander ascent module. Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

With respect to NASA’s lunar plans two sequential GNF (Global Networking Forum) presentations were made on the Artemis Programme and on Orion and related technlogies.  During the first it was revealed by Walter Cugno of Thales Alenia Space that its Italian arm was developing a habitation module for use on the Moon.  NASA’s own supremo on human spaceflight Kathy Leuders warned that while the Artemis Project was laudable it was still at hazard from politics – a veiled reference to the fact that its lunar lander funding was still being held up by the US Congress.

With respect to how the project was progressing Kirk Shireman of Lockheed Martin noted that Orion technology was being used on the National Team’s (including Blue Origin) effort to build a lunar landing craft, to the point that its ascent module interior looked very similar to that of the Orion.  A little closer to reality are the Orion capsule and service modules with the Artemis 2 and Artemis 3 service modules already being constructed noted Didier Radola of Airbus. Artemis 3 will be the first landing attempt to put astronauts (including a female astronaut) back on the Moon.  Lockheed Martin life support systems engineer Shelby Hopkins noted that she hoped one day to do the same herself.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

NASA successfully tests crew rocket escape system for Orion/SLS

While NASA left off the parachutes for schedule reasons (the parachute system has already been tested) the Orion crew module Read more

IAC 2018 Bremen: SLS future is assured for now as ICPS “tweak” improvements are planned alongside EUS upgrades

While the SLS Block I variant is nearly certain to achieve flight status, new heavy-lift rockets on the block threaten Read more

Bookmaker was right: Orion will be next US crewed capsule if first SLS launch carries humans…and Musk does not do it first

A couple of years ago a UK/Irish bookmaker (Paddy Power) was offering odds on which US spacecraft would carry the next humans Read more

China to ditch Soyuz-inspired Shenzhou manned spacecraft in favour of Apollo/Orion-style design

Just as most modern jet airliners look the same as they optimise their shapes for their mission, so manned spacecraft Read more

IAC 2015 Jerusalem: Late starting European Service Module rushes to catch up with SLS and Orion as they start construction

While the recent film “The Martian”, starring Matt Damon, whetted the appetite of the general public for long-range human exploration, in Read more

From round ones to X-shaped rectangles for Orion’s solar arrays

Now that the European Space Agency (ESA) is charged with building the new service module for NASA's Orion manned spacecraft Read more

PICTURE: Lockheed reveals Orion heat shield progress

Hyperbola didn't get its interview with Lockheed Martin Space Systems' human spaceflight vice president in the end and now the Read more

French govt study backs Orion Ariane 5 launch

NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle could be launched by the latest version of Europe's Ariane 5 rocket by 2019 according Read more