Back to the moon! Chinese mission Chang’e3 with Yutu rover – December 2013
After 37 years, man is going to the Moon, again.
But this time not physically, just “virtually”: China sent its “Chang’e III” probe carrying the Yutu rover.
Finding data on the mission on internet is quite difficult as most of them are in Chinese and Google translation are weird and confusing.
I collect here all data I was able to find in various place (forums, blogs, social networks). I do my best effort in publishing correct data.
- Launch date: December 1st, 2013 – 17:30 UTC
- Moon orbit insertion: December 6th
- Moon landing: confirmed at 13:11:18.695 UTC
The landing site is at 19.51 deg. West, 44.12 deg. North, per reports from the control center, that is 20-30 km southeast of Laplace crater:
“Fake” but cool: 😉
Landing site slightly changed:
miles km separate Chang’e3 landing site from Russian Lunokhod landing site.
- Rover deployment:
planned for 20:38 December 14th UTCsuccessfully performed
- 23:45: deployment feasibility checks.
- 03:10: rover moves to descending ramp
- 04:06 rover on descending ramp; ramp unlocked and fully nominal; ramp deployed.
- 4:35 rover descends the ramp; “6 wheel son ground”. “Huston, Mare Imbrium base here, the rabbit has jumped”. 😉
- Thanks to the HUGE patience of Emily Lakdawalla here it is an almost-complete deployment footage!
Low res thumbnail. Click on link below for 16 MB animated gif, or look at Youtube version:
- Reciprocal lander/rover snapshots:
planned 07:21-15:38 December 15th UTCSuccessfully performed:
will beperformed autonomously without ground support, by using radar sensors and visual sensors.
will beshot by a 1024×1024 camera at over 10 FPS.
- At 4 m above surface, engine
will beshut down and landing will beperformed in free fall; expected maximum vertical speed around 13 km/h.
- Rover deployment operations
will taketook around 2 hours.
- Rover carries both solar panels and nuclear heaters: the first to provide electricity, the second to keep instruments warm during 2-weeks-long Moon night.
Nect activities on schedule (sorry, no translations available):
LIVE STREAMING COVERAGE (possible links):
LIVE LANDING THREAD:
Points of interest in the footage (in Italian):
- 02:56 Distacco booster laterali
- 03:10 Distacco primo stadio
- 03:58 Passaggio a telecamera interna
- 04:50 Passaggio a seconda telecamera interna
- 06:15 Distacco secondo stadio, accensione terzo
- 19:36 Distacco lander, in rotta verso la Luna
- 1:04:00 Inizio animazione 3d
- 1:08:27 Panoramica Control Room
- 1:12:00 Dispiegamento zampe
- 1:16:20 Dispiegamento pannelli solari
UPDATES AND DATA SOURCES:
http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-11199-1-1.html (Chinese forum, plenty of info;use Chrome for automated translation)
http://www.weibo.com/3494982177/AmEaViSd5?mod=weibotime (Chinese “twitter”) (also http://www.weibo.com/zkyzs)
Chang E II lunar Rainbow Bay local image maps http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_4596431_1.html
China canceled manned lunar program http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_7006575_1.html
Landing failure prediction http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_7007285_1.html
New electric propulsion engine http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_7011243_1.html
Nuclear devices on Chang’e 3 http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_6987138_1.html
“Black 750 seconds” http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_7012426_1.html
“Moon race” http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_7003966_1.html
Redirecting Chang’e 2 to Mars? http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_7004959_1.html
Chang E II lunar satellite has 32G terrestrial transmission of scientific data http://club.china.com/data/thread/12171906/2718/69/65/5_1.html
Comparison to Mars rovers:
- Height = 1.5 meters
- Width = 2.3 meters
- Length = 1.5 meters
- Weight = 1062 kg
Landing site (Sinus Iridium, see white arrow):
Chinese name: 嫦娥三号 (Chang’e 3 or Chang’e III)