Home GRASP GRASP/China China launches relay satellite for far side moon landing

China launches relay satellite for far side moon landing

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BEIJING (AP) — China launched a relay satellite on Monday as part of a groundbreaking program to be the first to land a spacecraft on…
BEIJING (AP) — China launched a relay satellite on Monday as part of a groundbreaking program to be the first to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon later this year.
The satellite, lofted into space aboard a Long March-4C rocket, will facilitate communication between controllers on Earth and the Chang’e 4 mission, the China National Space Administration said on its website.
China hopes to become the first country to soft-land a probe on the moon’s far side, also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and is comparatively unknown.
The satellite, named Queqiao, or “Magpie Bridge,” after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan, the Space Administration said.
The launch is a “key step,” but the satellite’s mission must still overcome challenges including making multiple adjustments to its orbit, “braking” near the moon and using lunar gravity to its advantage, project manager Zhang Lihua was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.

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