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February 11-17, 2019 / Vol 38, No 6 / Hawai`i Island, USA

8 Feb 2019, 20:30 UTC
February 11-17, 2019 / Vol 38, No 6 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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Lunar New Year Sees China Moon Stations Developing with Chang’e 3-8 Landers

On Lunar New Year Chang’e-4 waking from its first lunar night reports temperatures of -190°C, colder than ever recorded on the near side. CNSA scientists theorize the extreme temperature is due to composition of lunar regolith on the hidden side. Yutu-2 rover has so far traveled 43 meters. The Queqiao relay satellite contains a radio astronomy experiment built in cooperation with the Netherlands. Sweden, Germany and Saudi Arabia also contribute to science payloads. Chang’e-3, which carries a Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope, is still operational. NASA scientists are exchanging data with CNSA, including Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imagery of the Chang’e-4 landing site. Lunar data will be shared at the Scientific and Technology Subcommittee of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space meeting in Vienna Feb 11-22. Chang’e-5 launch is scheduled by end of 2019 from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island, subject to successful flight of the Long March 5 booster in July. Chang’e-5 lander will collect lunar sample, then ascend for rendezvous with orbiter and sample return to Earth. Autonomous rendezvous in lunar orbit would be a first-ever accomplishment. In Feb 2020 a world-class Galaxy Forum ...

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