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International Space Flight (ESA, Russia, China and others) => Chinese Launchers => Topic started by: Satori on 09/20/2011 05:34 PM

Title: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 09/20/2011 05:34 PM
China to launch moon-landing probe around 2013 (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2011-09/21/c_131150151.htm)

(LIVE COVERAGE BEGINS ON PAGE 20)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 09/20/2011 05:52 PM
No mention of the rover in the article.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 09/20/2011 10:14 PM
The date has been oscillating between late 2012 and early 2013 in recent reports, by the way, even from the same sources, not sure whats more accurate.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 09/21/2011 07:39 AM
The date has been oscillating between late 2012 and early 2013 in recent reports, by the way, even from the same sources, not sure whats more accurate.

"Between 2011 and 2014"?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: snowhole on 12/26/2011 04:35 AM
Landing simulation? Yesterday evening's programme on CCTV. http://news.cntv.cn/china/20111225/117877.shtml
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: spacex on 01/07/2012 03:40 PM
Key Chinese Lunar Landing System Good

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awx/2012/01/06/awx_01_06_2012_p0-411834.xml&headline=Key%20Chinese%20Lunar%20Landing%20System%20Good&channel=space
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Satori on 03/05/2012 09:26 PM
From Xinhua, China to launch moon-landing orbiter in 2013 (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/05/c_131447340.htm)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Satori on 03/14/2012 11:33 AM
From Xinhua, China starts manufacturing third lunar probe (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/13/c_131465085.htm).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/14/2012 02:09 PM
I wonder whether the Chinese will have any "repeat capacity" in the Chang'e programme.

For example, should Chang'e 3 not survive a lunar landing, would everything rest on Chang'e 4 or would a Chang'e 3 replacement be flown, so that China (hopefully) has two successful rover missions before the pair of sample-return missions?

As the Chang'e flights become more demanding it is reasonable to expect that failures will appear in the programme.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 03/14/2012 03:12 PM
I don't have a reference, but i remember reading somewhere that Chang'e-2 was essentially built as a spare for Chang'e-1 and once the first once flew successfully, received it's pre-planned upgrades.

If they learned anything from their success there, and from the early days of exploration technology developments, back when series numbers for probes in double digits were not uncommon, one would hope that they are building spare(s).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/14/2012 03:35 PM
I don't have a reference, but i remember reading somewhere that Chang'e-2 was essentially built as a spare for Chang'e-1 and once the first once flew successfully, received it's pre-planned upgrades.
If they learned anything from their success there, and from the early days of exploration technology developments, back when series numbers for probes in double digits were not uncommon, one would hope that they are building spare(s).

I remember this being said about Chang'e 2 soon after Chang'e 1 reached the Moon.

Don't forget all of the failures that the Russians had before the Luna 9 landing?   And Lunas 15, 18 and 23 crash-landed.   The Americans were lucky with the Surveyor 1 soft-landing, as Surveyors 2 and 4 showed.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Moe Grills on 03/14/2012 06:58 PM
From Xinhua, China starts manufacturing third lunar probe (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/13/c_131465085.htm).


They're now cutting metal, huh? Good!

Cutting metal is always better than talk and paper.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Moe Grills on 03/14/2012 07:02 PM
I wonder whether the Chinese will have any "repeat capacity" in the Chang'e programme.

  Why wouldn't they?

There's over a billion Chinese, you could safely assume that someone
working for their space program would independently think of the same thing you posted. In other words?
You could bet your bank account, Phil, that that contingency is already in the works over there.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: HappyMartian on 03/18/2012 06:59 AM

Mission to bring back lunar soil  By Xin Dingding (China Daily) 
At: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-03/16/content_14845488.htm

:)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/18/2012 11:56 AM
Mission to bring back lunar soil  By Xin Dingding (China Daily) 
At: http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-03/16/content_14845488.htm
:)

What is new to me in this article is that the Chinese will not be doing a direct return to Earth from the lunar surface - as the Soviet Union did with its sample-return missions - but they plan to launch back into selenocentric orbit, perform a docking and then come back to Earth.

The unmanned rendezvous in selenocentric orbit will be a major space "first" if the Chinese pull it off: I wonder why they have chosen this approach.   Maybe they are thinking of proving some technologies for a Mars sample-return mission during the 2020s using the heavy-lift launch vehicle or multiple CZ-5 launches?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/21/2012 02:25 AM
Using Lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) greatly increases the mass returned to Earth, a few hundred grams for the Russian Luna sample return missions compared to two kg for LOR. This is because you do not need to carry the 1 km/s of return propellant from Lunar orbit all the way down and back up again (a 4 km/s penalty).

Using Lunar orbit for the return also allows return from any point on the Moon. If using a single burn direct ascent like the Luna missions, you are restricted to certain areas of the Moon, I believe to be in the Eastern hemisphere.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/21/2012 11:21 AM
Using Lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) greatly increases the mass returned to Earth, a few hundred grams for the Russian Luna sample return missions compared to two kg for LOR. This is because you do not need to carry the 1 km/s of return propellant from Lunar orbit all the way down and back up again (a 4 km/s penalty).
Using Lunar orbit for the return also allows return from any point on the Moon. If using a single burn direct ascent like the Luna missions, you are restricted to certain areas of the Moon, I believe to be in the Eastern hemisphere.

My understand is that the restriction on the Luna 15 et al sample-return mission landing site longitude was because the ascent stage did not have a pitchover capability - the implication being that with this capability you could land elsewhere on the Moon.

I would have thought that including a separate Earth-return stage in selenocentric orbit would decrease the mass of the lunar sample being brought back because of the extra equipment required for the automatic rendezvous and docking - plus the additional stage structure itself.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: vill on 03/21/2012 03:35 PM
I thought, that doing lunar orbit automatic docking in sample return missions could mean also technology test, which can be greatly needed for manned missions. Don't know exactly why ;D , but for me may be useful for precise testing of spacecraft and landing before actual human flight, or for orbital maneuvers without human presence like for constructing orbital station.

Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/21/2012 05:29 PM
I thought, that doing lunar orbit automatic docking in sample return missions could mean also technology test, which can be greatly needed for manned missions. Don't know exactly why ;D , but for me may be useful for precise testing of spacecraft and landing before actual human flight, or for orbital maneuvers without human presence like for constructing orbital station.

Docking tests with crews can be done in LEO, which is why I linked this approach to possibly technology-testing for a Mars mission.

But I still don't see why they would want to complicate and already-complex mission which only the Soviet Union has previously accomplished.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: vill on 03/22/2012 12:58 PM
Docking tests with crews can be done in LEO, which is why I linked this approach to possibly technology-testing for a Mars mission.

But I still don't see why they would want to complicate and already-complex mission which only the Soviet Union has previously accomplished.

Yes, this make sense. But if any docking on the lunar orbit is needed - and can be done without astronauts, it could be more cost effective. It depends on Chinese lunar architecture in first years I think.  For example adding new module to existing lunar orbital station, cargo flights to orbital station... I am not sure if this is real, even for first years after manned lunar landing. Later automatic dockings could be important...

So, if sample return mission is about testing docking technology too, it could mean, the Chinese lunar program plans to use it from the beginning (LOS in a few years after first manned flights?)

It depends on how difficult is to make automatic dockings in orbits further from earth for them; if it is largely more complicated they barely intend it just for robotic lunar exploration purposes and if possibly decreases lunar sample weight that could make worse scientific results than Soviet approach.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/24/2012 03:35 PM
I have just been reviewing all of the animations of the Chang'e 3 mssion which I can find online - mainly at YouTube - and all of these depict a direct return from the lunar surface, like the Luna sample-return missions.

So, was the Chinese article wrong in what it said about a rendezvous in selenocentric orbit or have the Chinese decided the re-design and complicate the mission profile in the last three years or so?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: HappyMartian on 03/28/2012 02:00 PM
I have just been reviewing all of the animations of the Chang'e 3 mssion which I can find online - mainly at YouTube - and all of these depict a direct return from the lunar surface, like the Luna sample-return missions.

So, was the Chinese article wrong in what it said about a rendezvous in selenocentric orbit or have the Chinese decided the re-design and complicate the mission profile in the last three years or so?


"After Chang’e-3, Chang’e-4 will be launched. Together, they will complete the task of landing on the moon in the second phase of China’s lunar exploration program. According to Xinhua News, Chang’e-5 will be launched in 2017 and will send back samples of moon rock to earth for analysis from a depth of two meters."

From: Chang’e-3: China To Launch First Moon Rover In 2013  By By Srinivas Laxman   March 7, 2012   At: http://www.asianscientist.com/


"The provisional mission sequence stipulates that after launch, a four-module spacecraft will enter the lunar orbit. Thereafter, two modules will touch down on the moon’s surface. One of the modules will collect the soil samples and transfer them to the ascending module which will lift off from the lunar surface."

And, "After taking off from the moon, it will dock with the orbiting module. Once this process is completed, the lunar samples will be transferred to another module which will bring it back to earth."

From: China’s Unmanned Moon Mission To Bring Back Lunar Soil To Earth By Srinivas Laxman   March 21, 2012   At: http://www.asianscientist.com/topnews/china-unmanned-moon-mission-to-bring-back-lunar-soil-2012/


 :)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/28/2012 09:09 PM
Since the Chinese originally announced Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 as being the lunar orbit, lunar landing/rover and sample return missions respectively, there is plenty of room for confusion since Chang'e 3 will be the first rover mission!

Maybe we should think of the original designators as being Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 respectively, with the flown Chang'e 1 and 2 being the Phase 1 missions and Chang'e 3 (and Chang'e 4? - even Chang'e 5??) being Phase 2 missions.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: snowhole on 03/29/2012 02:55 AM
Since the Chinese originally announced Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 as being the lunar orbit, lunar landing/rover and sample return missions respectively, there is plenty of room for confusion since Chang'e 3 will be the first rover mission!

Maybe we should think of the original designators as being Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 respectively, with the flown Chang'e 1 and 2 being the Phase 1 missions and Chang'e 3 (and Chang'e 4? - even Chang'e 5??) being Phase 2 missions.

Well the current Chang'e 2 was originally planned as a spare for Chang'e 1. Although Chang'e 1 was successful, they went ahead and let the spare fly as well and she became Chang'e 2 (taking the name originally designated for the rover). Maybe that's the logic behind the confusion.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: BUAA on 04/16/2012 07:17 PM
Since the Chinese originally announced Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 as being the lunar orbit, lunar landing/rover and sample return missions respectively, there is plenty of room for confusion since Chang'e 3 will be the first rover mission!

Maybe we should think of the original designators as being Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 respectively, with the flown Chang'e 1 and 2 being the Phase 1 missions and Chang'e 3 (and Chang'e 4? - even Chang'e 5??) being Phase 2 missions.
You're right that it is phase-1, 2 and 3 being orbiting, landing, and sampling returning respectively.

Each phase has two identical spacecraft built, one being the flying example and the other backup.

With Chang'e 1 successfully orbiting the Moon, there was actually no need to launch Chang'e 2. However, the programme decided to launch it nevertheless, and called it a "Phase-II" mission, a pathfinder for the subsequent Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission.

There was also media report about the first mission in the third-phase being Chang'e 5. So again Chang'e 4 is a back-up spacecraft. I would't be surprised if the mission also goes ahead.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 04/17/2012 05:33 AM
I think you are confusing phases of the program with missions. Phase 1 was the orbiter, phase 2 the lander and phase 3 the sample return, but the Chinese never stated that there would be a single mission for each phase. In fact, I remember a paper published even before Chang'e 1 was launched where they discussed flying TWO orbiters... now if I could remember where I saw that...
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 04/17/2012 07:23 AM
the flight of 1 or 2 orbiters as the first phase of the Chang'e project was mentioned as early as 2004 in this abstract of a presentation to that year's ILEWG meeting
http://www.spaceagepub.com/pdfs/Ouyang.pdf
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 07/11/2012 03:20 PM
Well I've reviewed the presentation by Ouyang Ziyuan at the China Academy of Science in June, and it has a list of instruments to be carried on board the lander and the rover. Three of the instruments are definitely worth mentioning:

1. The lander will carry an optical telescope (probably not that big, around a dozen cm in diameter) that would conduct the first ever astronomical observation from the lunar surface (well, the later Apollo J-class CSM came rather close....). This telescope will operate in the near UV region, and will target close binary stars, active galactic nuclei, short-period variable stars etc.

2. Also on the lander is a far UV region camera that will observe the 30.4 nanometer band radiation from the Earth's ionosphere, another first in lunar exploration. This will monitor the effect of space weather, solar activity, Earth's geomagnetic field and particle streams on the Earth's ionosphere.

3. The rover will carry a radar on it's bottom side, allowing for the first direct observation of the structure and depth of lunar soil down to 30 meters deep and the lunar crust structure down to a depth several hundred meters.

Other instruments include:

Lander: 3 x panoramic cameras, 1 x descent camera, 1 x extensible lunar soil probe, 1 x lander engineering package, 1 x lander data controller

Rover: 2 x panoramic cameras, 2 x navigation and engineering camera sets, 1 x alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, 1 x infrared spectrometer, 1 x lander engineering package, 1 x lander data controller.

The lander phase is rather conventional, but it includes a 100 second hovering phase for the lander to take photos of the landing area and find a flat spot for landing.

Sources:

Video of the presentation: http://www.cas.cn/zt/hyzt/16thysdh/zb/ (http://www.cas.cn/zt/hyzt/16thysdh/zb/) (CE-3 part starts at 208 minutes)

http://www.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=166465 (http://www.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=166465)

Meanwhile, the engineering model of CE-3 was transported to XSLC in June for practices of the launch campaign, still on target for launch next year. This is one of the reasons why no launches were scheduled from Xichang last month.

(source: http://www.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&pid=210070&ptid=451 (http://www.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&pid=210070&ptid=451))
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 07/11/2012 06:54 PM
On Apollo 16 an U-V telescope was set up on the lunar surface. to do a survery while the crew were wandering around.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Dalhousie on 07/11/2012 10:35 PM
One of the Lunokhods carried a french telescope as well. 

The Lunokhods also reported quite bright skies, suggesting suspended dust, it is important for missions like Chang'e 3 to determine how good the lunar surface is for telescopic observations.

The geological backage sounds great - GPR, XRS, penetrometer.  I am really looking forward to these.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 07/23/2012 05:29 AM
I noticed the working of the "rover lift" at 0.37 in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMYtNMpfN6Y
I was wondering: what happens if there is an obstacle and the way out the lift is not clear? the lift may not even be able to touch the ground if there is some strategically-placed rock in its deployment area...
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 07/23/2012 03:33 PM
I bet they have some sort of landing hazard avoidance system, plus they will have picked a relatively flat and obstacle free landing area in the first place. And then, i dont think Lunokhods had anything like that, both did fine. Worst case, they'll make tweaks and try again.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 07/23/2012 03:40 PM
the Lunokhods had two slides, one in front of the lander, the other at the rear, just for this reason. the same for Mars Pathfinder
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 07/23/2012 09:20 PM
Yep, but statistically, that gives you only 2x better odds than 1 side ramp ( or unloader in this case ) with no guidance.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Dalhousie on 07/23/2012 10:09 PM
There are not many large rocks on the lunar surface, so the odds are low, maybe it's a risk they are prepared to take.
On the other hand, maybe they have an obstacle avoidance system for landing.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 07/26/2012 07:34 PM
(facepalm) what a dumb headline .. China to Launch Nuclear Moon Rover in 2013 (http://news.discovery.com/space/china-to-launch-nuclear-moon-rover-dnews-nuggets-120726.html)

I guess RHUs make rovers "nucular" now.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 07/26/2012 07:53 PM
I have seen it reported as an RTG, not as RHUs
see for ex http://www.dragoninspace.com/lunar-exploration/change3.aspx
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 07/27/2012 12:28 PM
Do we have a landing target confirmed yet? A nuke would suggest that they're aiming for one of the shadowed craters at the poles where solar couldn't be guaranteed.

Yes, that means that Chang'e-3 might be a water-hunter.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 07/27/2012 12:32 PM
it's long being known that the landing site will be in Sinus Iridum, near the Lunokhod 1 landing site. see for ex: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2012/EPSC2012-151-1.pdf
the use of an RTG is dictated by the need to survive the lunar night (and probably make some observations during it)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Star One on 07/27/2012 03:28 PM
I have seen it reported as an RTG, not as RHUs
see for ex http://www.dragoninspace.com/lunar-exploration/change3.aspx

Will this be China's first nuclear powered space probe?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 07/27/2012 03:29 PM
Will this be China's first nuclear powered space probe?

yep!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 07/27/2012 03:31 PM
I have seen it reported as an RTG, not as RHUs
see for ex http://www.dragoninspace.com/lunar-exploration/change3.aspx
Thanks for that link.

Its just the lander that seems to have RTG ? Rover is described as solar powered, wonder how is it designed to survive lunar nights. Also it says 90 lunar days design life - wow that would be .. what, 7 years ?

On the "nucular" topic, i found articles referring to MSL as "nuclear tank" so i guess thats the trend.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 07/27/2012 03:43 PM
from what I understand, the rover seems to be designed to withstand the lunar night without RTGs
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Star One on 07/27/2012 03:55 PM
Will this be China's first nuclear powered space probe?

yep!

Thanks for that, thought it might be but wasn't one hundred percent on the issue.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: pberrett on 08/07/2012 12:49 PM
Will the Chinese be releasing a hyped up 7 minutes of Chinese rocket terror video?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Star One on 08/07/2012 08:39 PM
Will the Chinese be releasing a hyped up 7 minutes of Chinese rocket terror video?

You hoping they will. ;)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: beidou on 08/07/2012 10:18 PM
Why do you think they won't?? They have shared the data collected by Chang'E 2...
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Star One on 08/14/2012 04:33 PM
New article confirming that the rover is to be nuclear powered.

http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htm
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: PeterAlt on 08/23/2012 03:58 AM
Since the Chinese originally announced Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 as being the lunar orbit, lunar landing/rover and sample return missions respectively, there is plenty of room for confusion since Chang'e 3 will be the first rover mission!

Maybe we should think of the original designators as being Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 respectively, with the flown Chang'e 1 and 2 being the Phase 1 missions and Chang'e 3 (and Chang'e 4? - even Chang'e 5??) being Phase 2 missions.
You're right that it is phase-1, 2 and 3 being orbiting, landing, and sampling returning respectively.

Each phase has two identical spacecraft built, one being the flying example and the other backup.

With Chang'e 1 successfully orbiting the Moon, there was actually no need to launch Chang'e 2. However, the programme decided to launch it nevertheless, and called it a "Phase-II" mission, a pathfinder for the subsequent Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission.

There was also media report about the first mission in the third-phase being Chang'e 5. So again Chang'e 4 is a back-up spacecraft. I would't be surprised if the mission also goes ahead.

So, what are they planning on doing after Chang'e 6? Would they do a Phase 4 as preparation for crew missions? Or would the focus then shift to Mars, Venus, or some other destination in the solar system?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 08/23/2012 12:25 PM
After Chang'e 6 I guess the Chinese will decide what comes next!   Maybe they will have more than two sample-return missions?   Or maybe insert something that they deem to be necessary as an unmanned mission prior to the start of the piloted programme?

But as far as I know, no Chinese discussions have included a "Phase 4" of the Chang'e programme: it appears to stop after the sample-return flights.

All I can say is "let's wait and see". :-)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Star One on 08/26/2012 08:51 PM
Since the Chinese originally announced Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 as being the lunar orbit, lunar landing/rover and sample return missions respectively, there is plenty of room for confusion since Chang'e 3 will be the first rover mission!

Maybe we should think of the original designators as being Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 respectively, with the flown Chang'e 1 and 2 being the Phase 1 missions and Chang'e 3 (and Chang'e 4? - even Chang'e 5??) being Phase 2 missions.
You're right that it is phase-1, 2 and 3 being orbiting, landing, and sampling returning respectively.

Each phase has two identical spacecraft built, one being the flying example and the other backup.

With Chang'e 1 successfully orbiting the Moon, there was actually no need to launch Chang'e 2. However, the programme decided to launch it nevertheless, and called it a "Phase-II" mission, a pathfinder for the subsequent Chang'e 3 lunar landing mission.

There was also media report about the first mission in the third-phase being Chang'e 5. So again Chang'e 4 is a back-up spacecraft. I would't be surprised if the mission also goes ahead.

So, what are they planning on doing after Chang'e 6? Would they do a Phase 4 as preparation for crew missions? Or would the focus then shift to Mars, Venus, or some other destination in the solar system?

Wasn't their some discussion that a Jupiter mission was on their planning schedule?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 08/26/2012 09:02 PM
I discussed the few info available on Jupiter missions on the unmannedspaceflight forum www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=7099&pid=185333&st=0&#entry185333
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Star One on 08/26/2012 09:21 PM
I discussed the few info available on Jupiter missions on the unmannedspaceflight forum www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=7099&pid=185333&st=0&#entry185333

Thanks for that.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Hungry4info3 on 09/24/2012 02:46 PM
Looks like rover/lander separation tests. Found it on a Facebook profile, but looks like a TV screengrab.

Edited for clarity.

Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 09/28/2012 09:29 AM
Looks like rover/lander separation tests. Found it on a Facebook profile, but looks like a TV screengrab.

Hrm.  MSR meets Lunikhod!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: spacex on 11/11/2012 03:53 AM
Launch planned second half of 2013.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/special/18cpcnc/2012-11/11/c_131965774.htm
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: spacex on 11/12/2012 06:13 AM
Interesting report:

"It will spend 15 days on the moon to lay the foundations of what he called, further deep space exploration."

"After its sampling of the moon's surface, the Chang'e-3 is expected to be retrieved in 2017, according to reports."

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-11/11/content_15913551.htm
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/12/2012 12:07 PM
Interesting report:

"It will spend 15 days on the moon to lay the foundations of what he called, further deep space exploration."

"After its sampling of the moon's surface, the Chang'e-3 is expected to be retrieved in 2017, according to reports."

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-11/11/content_15913551.htm

"RETRIEVED"?!? In 2017?

Okay, Ben, calm down.  They're just talking about some kind of roll-on lander/return vehicle although even a RV capable of returning a payload of that size from the lunar surface would be impresive.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/12/2012 12:28 PM
Interesting report:

"It will spend 15 days on the moon to lay the foundations of what he called, further deep space exploration."

"After its sampling of the moon's surface, the Chang'e-3 is expected to be retrieved in 2017, according to reports."

http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-11/11/content_15913551.htm

"RETRIEVED"?!? In 2017?

Okay, Ben, calm down.  They're just talking about some kind of roll-on lander/return vehicle although even a RV capable of returning a payload of that size from the lunar surface would be impresive.

I think those reporters have confused CE-3 with the future Chinese lunar sample return mission (most probably CE-5), which is indeed penciled in for 2017.  ;)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/12/2012 02:20 PM
New article confirming that the rover is to be nuclear powered.

http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htm

Sorry to be getting in on this way late, but that reference says,

Quote
Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.

Pu-238?  AFAIK, brewing Pu-238 is not a trivial matter.  Do we have any other information about China's production of it?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Joris on 11/12/2012 03:08 PM
New article confirming that the rover is to be nuclear powered.

http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htm

Sorry to be getting in on this way late, but that reference says,

Quote
Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.

Pu-238?  AFAIK, brewing Pu-238 is not a trivial matter.  Do we have any other information about China's production of it?


China has about 1.8 +/-0.5 tons of Plutonium atm, they could probably miss 3kg for the prestige value of this moon rover.
http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/files/INMM-PU2.pdf
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/12/2012 05:00 PM
China has about 1.8 +/-0.5 tons of Plutonium atm, they could probably miss 3kg for the prestige value of this moon rover.
http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/files/INMM-PU2.pdf

That's Pu-239: different stuff, differently produced.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Watchdog on 11/12/2012 09:41 PM
Decay of Pu239 seems not to be the limiting factor of this lunar vehicle, its radioactive half life is about 24 years in comparison to Pu238/about 88 years. What other technical component could limit its working conditions to just 30 days? If they mean "moon days" the rover of Chang´e 3 would operate about 2.5 earth years on the lunar surface surpassing the active life of the solar powered Soviet Lunochod vehicles. 
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 11/12/2012 09:51 PM
MERs were planned to last for 90 sols, too.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/12/2012 10:31 PM
Decay of Pu239 seems not to be the limiting factor of this lunar vehicle, its radioactive half life is about 24 years in comparison to Pu238/about 88 years.

Make that 24,000 years, though Pu-239 isn't relevant to an RTG discussion.

My question stems from the fact that, AFAIK, the only significant sources of Pu-238 to date have been Russia and the US.  It's somewhat special-use material and producing it by either transmutation of neptunium-237 or isotopic separation of plutonium from irradiated reactor fuel is troublesome and expensive.

Assuming China hasn't just bought some from Russia, that seems to imply that they foresee enough need for it to have set up their own production facility. Which would be interesting.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 11/13/2012 05:16 AM
the rover of Chang´e 3 would operate about 2.5 earth years on the lunar surface

IIRC the lander is RTG-powered. the rover is solar-powered and well isolated to survive the lunar night. I don't expect it to last more than a few months
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/15/2012 05:26 PM
The latest model of CE-3 on display right now at the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow..... (with a CE-1 model as bonus  :))
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: KelvinZero on 11/15/2012 07:36 PM
The chinese fake moon landings apparently still have a long way to go to catch up with the american fake moon landings ;)

But seriously, Im really looking forward to this.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Dalhousie on 11/15/2012 10:51 PM
IIRC the lander is RTG-powered. the rover is solar-powered and well isolated to survive the lunar night. I don't expect it to last more than a few months

On the other hand it might last for years, which would be great.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Dalhousie on 11/15/2012 10:55 PM
The latest model of CE-3 on display right now at the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow..... (with a CE-1 model as bonus  :))

I am very interested in the painted backdrop. 

One spacecraft shown is the Chang'e 3 lander apparently shining a light on the surface.  What appears to be a lamp is also visible on the model (above and to the right of the thruster quad). Do you know what the prupose of this is?  Night operations?  Imaging of possible frost build up on the surface?  I would not have though Sinus Iridium was far enough north for that.

the other spacecraft appears to include an ascent vehicle.  Is this to do with future sample return missions?

The Chang'e 3 and possible sample return mission landers in the art work are almost identical, suggesting a common desig, as with the Russian heavy Luna missions of course.  However the tanks are larger and fifferent in shape to those shown in the model.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/16/2012 10:42 AM
One spacecraft shown is the Chang'e 3 lander apparently shining a light on the surface.  What appears to be a lamp is also visible on the model (above and to the right of the thruster quad). Do you know what the prupose of this is?  Night operations?  Imaging of possible frost build up on the surface?  I would not have though Sinus Iridium was far enough north for that.

It might not be an optical-wavelength emitter; it might be part of a near-UV or near-IR-wavelength system for some other experiment on board.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/16/2012 02:21 PM
Night operations?

Maybe. The very little that's come out about this suggests that the RTG may provide more than just keep-alive power during the night.  Or not -- the wording, at least in English, is a bit ambiguous.

Quote
http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htm

China's moon rover to use domestic nuclear battery
August 13, 2012

<snip>

[The rover] will be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night...

The battery will be the only source of energy during [the lunar night] and will prevent the equipment from freezing.

<snip>

Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Dalhousie on 11/19/2012 12:03 AM

It might not be an optical-wavelength emitter; it might be part of a near-UV or near-IR-wavelength system for some other experiment on board.

Quite possible, but again, what for?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 11/19/2012 02:35 AM

Pu-238?  AFAIK, brewing Pu-238 is not a trivial matter.  Do we have any other information about China's production of it?

China may just buy it, if not. There plenty fast reactors in China to process it Neptunium-237, and plenty of spent fuel to provide the Neptunium given now nearly 50 years of reactor operations.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: randomly on 11/19/2012 02:48 AM
There is nobody to buy Pu238 from. You don't need a fast reactor, just a reactor designed to have target irradiation sites where you can easily insert and remove the Neptunium-237 targets. Similar to weapons grade Plutonium production you don't want to over expose the target to the neutron flux before you remove it and process it to recover the Pu-238. Over exposure results in additional neutron absorptions creating other unwanted isotopes.

So you do a lot of target swapping. and a lot of target processing, and a lot of target fabrication. You need facilities purpose built that can handle that process cycle of radioactive material.

However they may just use another radioisotope like Strontium-90 and compensate with extra shielding etc.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/19/2012 02:13 PM

However they may just use another radioisotope like Strontium-90 and compensate with extra shielding etc.

But the article that started this discussion (and there's just the one article that I know of) specifically says Pu-238:

Quote
http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htm

    Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChileVerde on 11/19/2012 02:29 PM

Here's some more information about the mission.

Quote
Chinese battery will power country's first moon rover
Created: 2012-8-13
Author:Yang Jian

A CHINESE nuclear battery will power the country's first moon rover after it lands on the lunar surface next year on board Chang'e-3, China's third lunar probe, according to the chief scientist of China's lunar project.

The battery, using plutonium-238, will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, Ouyang Ziyuan said over the weekend.

"The nuclear power system will make China the third country apart from the United States and Russia to be able to apply nuclear technology to space exploration," Ouyang said.

The rover will patrol the surface for at least three months with the vehicle being controlled by scientists on Earth, Ye Peijian, chief commander of the Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 missions has said.

Ouyang said the rover would be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night.

A lunar night lasts for 14 days with temperatures reaching below minus 100 degrees Celsius. The battery will be the only source of energy during that time and will prevent the equipment freezing, he said.

An expandable solar panel will absorb the sun's energy during the day.

As plutonium-238 decays to increase its temperature to around 600 degrees Celsius, the battery system will turn the heat into electricity, said Li Guoxin, a researcher with the Shanghai Space Energy Research Center.

The Chang'e-3 is expected to be launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest Sichuan Province.

<snip>

Ouyang said the rover and the Chang'e-3 would stay on the moon until the Chang'e-5 probe arrived to take samples and the rover back to the Earth.

He said China was currently working on the Chang'e-5 as well as a new Long March-5 rocket to carry the probe.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Watchdog on 11/20/2012 10:59 PM
Isn´t that a nice idea to combine solar and nuclear power in a single vehicle? Chinese scientists don´t just copy, rather they learn and improve. Switching the RTG between heat and heat/power modus perfectly matches the needs on the lunar surface. When solar power is available the extra electricity from the RTG is used to power scientific instruments. However, let us first wait until the landing has been successful before applauding.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: cheesybagel on 12/17/2012 08:48 AM
This video from CCTV 13 shows the probe being assembled, as well as rover tests:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPqh5TxIteM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/17/2012 09:25 AM
This video from CCTV 13 shows the probe being assembled, as well as rover tests:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPqh5TxIteM


A bit of interesting facts from the report:

1. The rover can tolerate moving on a 20 degree slope and crossing over 20cm high obstacles (note that the landing zone at Sinus Iridium only has slopes up to 7 degrees)

2. The lunar simulation lab uses volcanic ash as a lunar soil replacement
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: hal9000 on 12/17/2012 12:21 PM
What really strikes me from the video footage of the lander and rover is how small the rover appears in relation to the lander size.  It almost looks like a minor 'side' payload, rather than something like Lunakhod, or the MER rovers, where the landing stage is dominated by the rover.

 
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/17/2012 03:58 PM
Is there any possibility that this might be an LSR with the small rover as primarily a short-range 'rock hunter' and a secondary free-roaming science mission after the return package leaves?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/17/2012 04:19 PM
Is there any possibility that this might be an LSR with the small rover as primarily a short-range 'rock hunter' and a secondary free-roaming science mission after the return package leaves?

Nope, the preliminary designs I've seen of the Chinese LSR mission (currently planned as Chang'e 5 in 2017) is much more like the old Soviet LSR missions....
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: ChrisC on 01/04/2013 07:21 PM
FYI, Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society just posted a great overview of expected spacecraft activity in 2013 (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/01041111-whats-up-january.html), and in it she features this mission, linking to Galactic Penguin's analysis post from last July (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg928199#msg928199) and his pictures post (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg979502#msg979502) in this thread.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 01/09/2013 08:56 PM
I just posted a followup article. Many thanks to all of you who are posting links to and translations of Chinese language content here -- it's an invaluable resource. I wanted to draw your attention to the really nice Chang'E 3 rover artwork that Glen Nagle put together (http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-images/spacecraft/change-3-rover-on-the-moon.html).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Satori on 01/09/2013 09:30 PM
Chang'e-3 in June?: http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2013-01-10/033925998072.shtml (in Chinese)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/10/2013 05:10 AM
A Google translation says "3rd June".
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 01/10/2013 06:08 AM
A Google translation says "3rd June".

Let's say that Ouyang Ziyuan didn't mention the date, merely "in June"....   ;D

This is very surprising because the Chinese has always reported that the launch is in the second half of 2013, and I wonder if the reporters (or even Ouyang) mistook the launch of SZ-10 (which is reported to be in early June) with CE-3. Of course I would be thrilled to be wrong!  :D

In other news, he reported that the Chinese will continue to communicate with CE-2 right up to the end, and confirms that the CE-5 lunar sample return mission (2017) will be launched by the CZ-5 series.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 01/10/2013 07:26 AM
FYI, Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society just posted a great overview of expected spacecraft activity in 2013 (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/01041111-whats-up-january.html), and in it she features this mission


note that CE-3's descent camera was tested as one of the now famous four engineering webcams on CE-2. it's the heaviest of the four at 502 grams. it has a 1280x1024 pixel CMOS sensor
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Dalhousie on 01/10/2013 07:53 AM
I just posted a followup article. Many thanks to all of you who are posting links to and translations of Chinese language content here -- it's an invaluable resource. I wanted to draw your attention to the really nice Chang'E 3 rover artwork that Glen Nagle put together (http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-images/spacecraft/change-3-rover-on-the-moon.html).

Nice, but I don't think that Chang'e 3 is landing in Taurus-Littrow....
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: Spiff on 01/12/2013 12:17 PM
I just posted a followup article. Many thanks to all of you who are posting links to and translations of Chinese language content here -- it's an invaluable resource. I wanted to draw your attention to the really nice Chang'E 3 rover artwork that Glen Nagle put together (http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-images/spacecraft/change-3-rover-on-the-moon.html).

What? Nobody has at least written a little welcome message when one of the most respected space-bloggers on this side of the net finally registers at NSF.com?
Up to me then. :D

Welcome Emily, thanks for this article and the many others that you have written over the years. Keep updating us with all the space background stories from around the world. I for one always enjoy reading them!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3, 2013
Post by: hal9000 on 01/27/2013 01:41 PM
Here is a good summary of the Chang'e-3 mission:

http://www.pagef30.com/2013/01/planetary-society-writeup-on-change-3.html

A couple of points stand out for me:

1)  Some images show the rover coming down ramps like Lunakhod, others show it folding out from a side panel.  Wonder which is the chosen solution for flight?

2)  Looking at the pictures of the lander in assembly, it looks pretty big, given it is reported to way 1,200kg!  It looks more like an Apollo LM Descent Stage than it does something like a Luna or Surveyor lander.    Odd
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, 2nd half 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 02/27/2013 01:06 PM
Here are the testing on the lander / rover that has been completed and coming up shortly as of today:

Completed

- Flight hardware development and acceptance
- Lander / rover final assembly and combined testing
- Electromagnetic compatibility tests
- Lander / rover separation and release testing
- Mechanical force testing

Coming up

- Thermal balance and vacuum testing
- Modal strength testing on key components (wheels and landing gears?)
- Mission simulation with the spacecraft control center at Beijing

Source (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=241215)

The photo below shows the gamma ray sensor for the lander hover engine shutdown signal being tested outdoors (already completed (http://210.82.31.84:9000/rp/fs/cp/98/36/20130227/2/content_5.htm)):
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, 2nd half 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/01/2013 07:00 AM
New modifications to the CZ-3B rocket for the launch:

1. Guidance platform will now also use satellite navigation signals (GPS?) in addition to the original twin ring laser gyroscopes for real time trajectory optimization (not exactly new for rockets around the world...)
2. Rocketcam installed on all major parts of the rocket for our pleasure and monitoring critical events (first time we will see them live on a CZ-3 series)  8)
3. All engines and control systems have been tweaked to increase the reliability to 94.2% (was 93.8%).
4. New designed payload adapter (height 1760 mm) and payload separation locks.
5. LTO capability increased to 3780 kg (was 3750 kg)
6. The lunar transfer launch window has been widened to 2 windows per day, 3 - 4 days per month (back in CE-2 it was a 1 second window!) by optimizing launch window designs, adding real time software code upload capability and improving the third stage pressurization system.

Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2013-03/01/c_114854207.htm (http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2013-03/01/c_114854207.htm)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, 2nd half 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/08/2013 11:19 AM
HOLY PROBE! We may have just got the precise launch window CE-3 is being aimed at!  :o

According to Jiang Jie, the current chief designer of the CZ-3 rocket series, the launch will occur in early December. Final assembly of the CZ-3B rocket for the launch is now underway and should be completed by the end of this month. 2 series of complete tests will be done on the launcher before shipping.

Also comparing with the CZ-3C used for the CE-2 launch, the LTO capability has increased by 1.3 tonnes (not a useful comparison....) and the orbit injection accuracy is now three times better.

Source: http://news.cntv.cn/2013/03/08/VIDE1362742325390719.shtml (http://news.cntv.cn/2013/03/08/VIDE1362742325390719.shtml)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, 2nd half 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/10/2013 10:55 AM
CAST's chief adviser of Interplanetary Exploration Ye Peijian confirms that the lander and rover has completed final assembly and are on track for launch late this year. There aren't a lot of new things we don't know in this news report, but there are some not seen before spacecraft testing footages and animations (though the shot with a lander leg touching down on sand actually comes from "From The Earth To The Moon"  ::))

http://news.cntv.cn/2013/03/10/VIDE1362893522898173.shtml (http://news.cntv.cn/2013/03/10/VIDE1362893522898173.shtml)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 03/12/2013 01:53 AM
It's big.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/12/2013 02:25 AM
It's big.

It weights something like 3.6 tonnes when fully fueled - so even bigger than MSL during cruising! (but of course it's going to a much closer place than Mars)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 03/12/2013 03:09 PM
Anybody got any dimensions on this? How does it compare to Surveyor and Lunokhod?

I note the four landing legs.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Danderman on 03/12/2013 05:05 PM
Anybody got any dimensions on this? How does it compare to Surveyor and Lunokhod?

I note the four landing legs.

Lunakhod right after separation was something like 5500 kg; Surveyor would have been a little over one metric ton.

A more appropriate comparison would be with Viking.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 03/12/2013 05:06 PM
Surveyor would have been a little over one metric ton.

IIRC Surveyor was about one ton (metric) at launch, i.e. including the retrorocket (which made about 2/3 or the mass)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 03/12/2013 05:12 PM
The Soviet Luna sample-return spacecraft were about 5,300 kg at launch and 1,880 kg on the lunar surface.   The Lunokhod missions were slightly heavier at launch but slightly lighter on the Moon - Luna 17 was 1,836 kg, including the 756 kg rover.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/14/2013 06:30 AM
Anybody got any dimensions on this? How does it compare to Surveyor and Lunokhod?

I note the four landing legs.

The lander body has an internal volume of about 3-4 cubic meters (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=243089) (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=243089)), so that's about 1.5 meters on each side. This puts it at much beefier than Surveyor, and roughly the same size as the Lunokhod lander. The Phoenix Mars lander has a roughly same sized science instruments deck (but with a much smaller propulsion unit).

The rover is best described as a 80% model of Spirit / Opportunity (with a slightly smaller camera mast / HGA / robotic arm for spectrometer sensor heads and rock sample retrieving) with smaller rectangular solar panels and Lunokhod-style boogies and wheels. That puts its body at roughly the same size as the Lunokhod, but much lighter than it or the MERs (120 kg, vs 750 kg for the Lunokhod or 175 kg for Spirit / Opportunity).

Unfortunately I don't think there will be official figures for dimensions until closer to launch, so all the information above comes from my Mark I eyeballs.  ::) I think it should be more or less in the right ballpark though.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/17/2013 02:48 PM
I was able to dig up quite a bit about the lander, rover, science instruments and mission operations. Take this conference proceedings about surface operations of the rover for instance (free access): it shows that the lunar transfer will be about 5 days long, followed by a nearly 10 day orbital period before doing the EDL (http://spaceops2012.com/proceedings/documents/id1275680-Paper-001.pdf).

With this information, the given early December launch date and Sinus Iridum having sunrise on December 13-14, I am now guessing Dec. 1-5 for launch with landing at around Dec. 15-19.

I have also made a list of available papers (some to the public, others via subscription) about the science instruments at UMSF. (http://www.unmannedspaceflight.com/index.php?showtopic=3105&view=findpost&p=199141)  :)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/02/2013 08:33 AM
All the rocket engines to be used for launching CE-3 has been completed and passed reviews by its producer, the Chinese Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology, and handed over to the CALT. The article also shows that CZ-3B s/n Y23 will be used for the launch late this year.

Source: http://www.aalpt.com/www/newcontents.asp?leaf_id=1817 (http://www.aalpt.com/www/newcontents.asp?leaf_id=1817)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/08/2013 03:09 PM
CE-3 is now baking and freezing inside the thermal testing chamber in CASC's Beijing plant since sometime in April. (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=249491)  8)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/09/2013 08:27 AM
The lander certainly looks very big! Notice how small the landing feet are. I presume the Chinese are using the knowledge from Apollo about how hard the Lunar surface is.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: hal9000 on 05/09/2013 08:53 AM
Quote
The lander certainly looks very big!

It certainly does.  The rover looks very small on top.
I'm guessing that the lander will be basically the same for Chang'e-5, so its oversized as such for this mission, but they get to prove the design for future missions
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 05/09/2013 11:18 AM
Quote
The lander certainly looks very big!

It certainly does.  The rover looks very small on top.
I'm guessing that the lander will be basically the same for Chang'e-5, so its oversized as such for this mission, but they get to prove the design for future missions

It makes sense to standardise the descent stages.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Danderman on 05/09/2013 02:21 PM
The lander looks big enough for a human mission, almost.

Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/09/2013 02:30 PM
OK I got another two dozen photos......  :o
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/09/2013 02:31 PM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/09/2013 02:31 PM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/09/2013 02:32 PM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/09/2013 02:32 PM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 05/09/2013 05:55 PM
Great collection! Thanks!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 05/10/2013 01:54 AM
Thank you for those. They are really nice.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Star One on 05/13/2013 05:35 PM
Thanks for those photos, it certainly looks a hefty size.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 05/16/2013 10:54 AM
Finally, someone is going back to the moon. Its been 37 years now.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/17/2013 05:47 AM
Yes, its been way too long. I hope the Chinese do a live broadcast of the landing.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: beidou on 07/07/2013 12:56 PM
http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=257276&fromuid=24484

Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 07/07/2013 01:16 PM
http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=451&pid=257276&fromuid=24484



A bit of note: the workers were pulling up a test rig for the lander soft landing tests, which were performed recently.  :)

Original link: http://www.spacechina.com/n25/n144/n206/n133097/c462653/content.html (http://www.spacechina.com/n25/n144/n206/n133097/c462653/content.html)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: tonyq on 07/08/2013 04:58 PM
Great deduction here, giving us a possible launch window 21-23 November:-

http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/China/ChangE/ChangE3Window.php
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/07/2013 08:46 AM
Ooh...... looks like someone has leaked out loads of information about the Chinese plans of solar system exploration!

http://bbs.astron.ac.cn/thread-93001-1-1.html (http://bbs.astron.ac.cn/thread-93001-1-1.html)

Liu Qinghui, a researcher working at the Shanghai Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (which includes their 65 meter radio telescope), said in the presentation above that CE-3 is scheduled to launch at about 1 am local time on December 2 (~17:00 UTC on December 1). That's bang in the mark with my prediction a few months ago!  :o
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/28/2013 11:36 AM
Chang'e 3 has passed the critical reviews 4 days ago and is now ready for shipping to the launch site.  :)

http://www.spacechina.com/n25/n144/n206/n214/c510680/content.html (http://www.spacechina.com/n25/n144/n206/n214/c510680/content.html)
http://news.xinhuanet.com/tech/2013-08/28/c_117132510.htm (http://news.xinhuanet.com/tech/2013-08/28/c_117132510.htm)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: beidou on 08/28/2013 08:57 PM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 08/29/2013 05:53 AM

Is it possible for someone to translate the captions please?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: apace on 08/29/2013 12:44 PM

According to Welt.de/Reuters, the chinese moon rover will have also the task to plant a chinese flag on the moon.

http://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/weltraum/article119498983/China-will-noch-2013-Flagge-auf-dem-Mond-hissen.html
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: beidou on 09/01/2013 07:40 PM

Is it possible for someone to translate the captions please?

There is nothing special in the slide. The caption just mentioned the launch will be by the end of this year, and the numbers in the slide are the milestones (in terms of months, years) of this project.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 09/05/2013 05:25 PM
Moon landing mission to use "secret weapons" (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-09/04/c_132692120.htm).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: JimO on 09/06/2013 12:34 AM
Moon landing mission to use "secret weapons" (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-09/04/c_132692120.htm).

That's got to be some mistranslation, no?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 09/11/2013 03:47 AM
Chang'e 3 has been transported to Beijing's international airport earlier today. Later today it will be loaded on board an Antonov 124 for fly-out to Xichang early tomorrow.

http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=264656&fromuid=19646 (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=264656&fromuid=19646)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Star One on 09/11/2013 11:08 AM

Chang'e 3 has been transported to Beijing's international airport earlier today. Later today it will be loaded on board an Antonov 124 for fly-out to Xichang early tomorrow.

http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=264656&fromuid=19646 (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=264656&fromuid=19646)

I didn't know the Chinese used the 124, how long have they been using it in this capacity?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 09/11/2013 05:03 PM
they are renting the An 124, just like everyone else, I believe...
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 09/12/2013 07:03 PM
A very stupid op-ed on this subject:

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-09-08/news/os-ed-oped-china-lunar-lander-20130906_1_moon-orbit-leading-space-faring-nation

I honestly don't know where this guy gets all these crazy ideas.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Star One on 09/12/2013 07:17 PM

A very stupid op-ed on this subject:

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-09-08/news/os-ed-oped-china-lunar-lander-20130906_1_moon-orbit-leading-space-faring-nation

I honestly don't know where this guy gets all these crazy ideas.

What on earth is he on about in that article!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 09/12/2013 08:45 PM
I don't know. It's just rather nutty. "Nobody paid any attention to the announcement that China is launching a robotic probe to the Moon." Yeah, well virtually nobody paid any attention when NASA launched LADEE either, at least until the frog came along.

And then he mentions that China--gasp!--has a space station! Er, yeah, and the ISS has been in orbit since the late 1990s.

But occasionally you will run across somebody who thinks that if China puts a human on the Moon--when? someday...--it is going to be a major threat to humankind. I'm no fan of the Chinese government, but if they put humans on the Moon, it won't change anything.

The byline is rather vague about what this guy did when he was in government.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 09/25/2013 04:56 PM
China Unveils Its First and Unnamed Moon Rover (http://english.cri.cn/11354/2013/09/25/2361s789412.htm).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 09/25/2013 04:58 PM
!!

"Chinese scientists described the country's first moon rover on Wednesday and invited the global public to come up with a name for it."

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-09/25/c_132750241.htm

More detail on the naming process here, though no direct link to a submission site: http://www.china.org.cn/china/2013-09/25/content_30131077.htm
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 10/01/2013 04:35 PM
A bit more on the naming
http://inventorspot.com/articles/chinas_first_robot_moon_rover_needs_name_wants_your_input
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: KelvinZero on 10/05/2013 11:59 PM
Im really looking forward to this..

Will this be the first time we have actually landed (not crashed) something on the moon since 1976?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_the_Moon

I said 'we' without even thinking about it. Its very exciting to me.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 10/06/2013 12:15 AM
Im really looking forward to this..

Will this be the first time we have actually landed (not crashed) something on the moon since 1976?
Me too. I was born in 1978.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/06/2013 03:58 PM
Are there any good line drawings/schematics of the lander and rover?

I've seen a lot of photos, but I'm curious about overall dimensions and instrument locations and things like that.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Lar on 10/06/2013 04:22 PM
China Unveils Its First and Unnamed Moon Rover (http://english.cri.cn/11354/2013/09/25/2361s789412.htm).

That thing is so cute! It could be made out of LEGO elements... :)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/09/2013 04:58 AM
Will this be the first time we have actually landed (not crashed) something on the moon since 1976?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploration_of_the_Moon

Yes. The following were crashed into the Moon:

1993-04-10 Hiten
1995? Hiten-Hagoromo (decayed orbit)
1999-07-31 Lunar Prospector
2006-09-03 SMART 1
2008-11-14 Chandrayaan 1-Moon Impact Probe (MIP)
2009-02-12 SELENE-Rstar (Okina)
2009-03-01 Chang'e 1
2009-06-10 SELENE (Kaguya)
2009-10-09 LCROSS-Centaur
2009-10-09 LCROSS
2011? Chandrayaan 1 (decayed orbit)
2012-12-17 GRAIL A (Ebb)
2012-12-17 GRAIL B (Flow)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_artificial_objects_on_the_Moon for more information.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/11/2013 07:16 PM
Am I the only person who is thinking that there will be loud clasps of uproar from the other side of the Pacific from where I am if the Chinese really gets this lander and rover to the Moon surface and shows off the red Chinese flag to the world for Christmas?  ::) Well I don't really expect more actions than that, but if that happens I'm sure it will get to the headlines of mainstream media.... "OMFG IT'S THE CHINEEEESSSE! THEY HAVE INVADED THE MOOOON!"

But I will cheer for them, not only because it's their first planetary landing, but because no-one has tried to put a robot on the Moon for 37 years - many members (including me of course) have never seen a  lunar landing! It might be start of an era where there are at least one lander working on the lunar surface indefinitely, for which we can now start to discuss about BLEO outposts.  ;)

Here's to a good flight all the way till landing and good surface operations for at least their designed lives!  ;D
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 10/11/2013 07:28 PM
Well, GP SST, I was around for all of the landings (although I cannot remember the impact of Luna 2), but I am as excited as you are about the Chang'e 3 landing.   I remember all of the Soviet failures before Luna 9 rough-landed on the Moon, while Surveyor 1 soft-landed at the first attempt.   For surveyor 1, the first photos of the lunar surface were released "live" to the world's media so thanks to the BBC being open early (no Breakfast TV in those days) for the first time we saw the caption "live from the Moon".

Just don't knock the Chinese if Chang'e 3 doesn't soft-land - it's not easy landing on another world.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 10/11/2013 07:38 PM

I've seen a lot of photos, but I'm curious about overall dimensions and instrument locations and things like that.

Dimensions and schematics are difficult to find at the moment, even in the technical literature. The only thing I could find are some basic dimensions from the paper "Soft Landing Impact Simulation of Lunar Lander" (http://zgkj.cast.cn/EN/abstract/abstract10556.shtml)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: PahTo on 10/11/2013 07:38 PM

Uproar on this (E) side of the Pacific?  I don't expect much uproar from the E side of the Pacific, but based on the incredibly informed, well-reasoned op-ed from the Orlando Sentinel linked earlier in the thread, I expect uproar (calls for war) from portions of the W side of the N Atlantic (SE United States).
Cute rover??  Cute??  Can't you see the big ray-gun on the front of that thing?  Looks pretty darn sinister and threatening to me!
;)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Orbiter on 10/11/2013 07:42 PM
Am I the only person who is thinking that there will be loud clasps of uproar from the other side of the Pacific from where I am if the Chinese really gets this lander and rover to the Moon surface and shows off the red Chinese flag to the world for Christmas?  ::) Well I don't really expect more actions than that, but if that happens I'm sure it will get to the headlines of mainstream media.... "OMFG IT'S THE CHINEEEESSSE! THEY HAVE INVADED THE MOOOON!"

But I will cheer for them, not only because it's their first planetary landing, but because no-one has tried to put a robot on the Moon for 37 years - many members (including me of course) have never seen a  lunar landing! It might be start of an era where there are at least one lander working on the lunar surface indefinitely, for which we can now start to discuss about BLEO outposts.  ;)

Here's to a good flight all the way till landing and good surface operations for at least their designed lives!  ;D

I'd imagine if there's pictures of the Chinese flag on the surface of the moon it will either be brushed off by the media for more "pressing" matters or cause a significant uproar in the United States. Hoping for the latter personally.  But we're getting off topic here.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/11/2013 10:44 PM
Am I the only person who is thinking that there will be loud clasps of uproar from the other side of the Pacific from where I am if the Chinese really gets this lander and rover to the Moon surface and shows off the red Chinese flag to the world for Christmas?  ::) Well I don't really expect more actions than that, but if that happens I'm sure it will get to the headlines of mainstream media.... "OMFG IT'S THE CHINEEEESSSE! THEY HAVE INVADED THE MOOOON!"


No. If it even gets mentioned on the evening news in the United States I expect it to be a one-day story. Maybe two days if they get the rover rolling. Then there will be short TV segments "China has a rover on the Moon" and then immediate mention of the fact that the United States has landed four rovers on Mars, and two of them are currently active there. (In other words: "Who cares?") Then the story will be forgotten.

As much as the fanboi in me wishes that we could somehow turn Chinese space activities into more support for American space activities, it just is not going to happen. The Cold War Space Race was a unique moment in time. Now Americans don't think that way anymore.

Me, I hope the Chinese are successful. Yeah, it will boost their nationalistic pride (which I don't think is a good thing, because it will encourage them to push around their neighbors even more), but I would rather see them spend money on civilian space pursuits than military ones. So if they engage in an active civilian space program, especially robotic exploration of the planets, that is not going to hurt anybody, and if anything it will add to our understanding of our solar system. So I'd like them to succeed.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 10/12/2013 07:40 AM
A pre-print from Science China: Technological advancements and promotion roles of Chang’e-3 lunar probe mission http://tech.scichina.com:8082/sciEe/EN/abstract/abstract512308.shtml#
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/12/2013 06:19 PM
I wonder what kind of technology they are using for their final landing system.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 10/12/2013 06:52 PM
I cannot recall any other unmanned lunar lander which hovered over the landing site to take images before descending to the surface.   I wonder how much hover time there will be?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 10/12/2013 07:08 PM
I am attaching a paper in Chinese (sorry, I don't have the link at hand and the site seems to be down).
I don't know if it is applicable to CE-3, but judging from it, hovering would occur at 15 km and the final descent from that altitude would take slightly more than 450 seconds (7.5 minutes)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/14/2013 02:50 PM
The link to the Chang'e-3 paper above appears to be temporarily down, so the paper is attached here.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/15/2013 02:31 PM
http://www.space.com/23202-china-moon-rover-december-launch.html
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: mr. mark on 10/17/2013 06:34 PM
Man O Man did I get a laugh out of this report. Quote... "Scientists have ruled out the use of parachutes on the moon". Are you kidding me????? A 5 year old knows that parachutes cannot work in an airless vaccum. What kind of scientists are these?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7-d8BO1ryA
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: eeergo on 10/17/2013 07:43 PM
Man O Man did I get a laugh out of this report. Quote... "Scientists have ruled out the use of parachutes on the moon". Are you kidding me????? A 5 year old knows that parachutes cannot work in an airless vaccum. What kind of scientists are these?

Rather the ineptitude of the journalists - by the tone of the English commentator, it was clear she had no idea what she was saying ("deploy an anti-thrust mechanism to reduce the speed of the engine" ?????). Surprisingly, in the Portuguese version they do not cite this silly line, and in the Spanish one they just list the probes the US and USSR sent before. The other versions I could understand just repeat more or less the same (French version at least says "evidently cannot use parachutes", while the Italian one refers to the moon as a planet......)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/27/2013 05:13 AM
The CZ-3B rocket for the mission has departed the CALT plant in Beijing today - arrival at Xichang is planned on November 1; while the launch team should arrive in 2 days time.

News report: http://tv.cntv.cn/video/C10601/bc1f86a9987f458290119675ad5a505c (http://tv.cntv.cn/video/C10601/bc1f86a9987f458290119675ad5a505c)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 10/27/2013 05:57 PM
Ten candidate names for China's first moon rover after global poll (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-10/27/c_132834059.htm).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 10/27/2013 05:59 PM
The CZ-3B rocket for the mission has departed the CALT plant in Beijing today - arrival at Xichang is planned on November 1; while the launch team should arrive in 2 days time.

News report: http://tv.cntv.cn/video/C10601/bc1f86a9987f458290119675ad5a505c (http://tv.cntv.cn/video/C10601/bc1f86a9987f458290119675ad5a505c)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrAPtz60hwU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plzuIaQWBCU
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 10/27/2013 06:12 PM
Carrier rocket sent to launch base for unmanned moon landing mission (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2013-10/27/c_132834388.htm).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/28/2013 02:51 AM
Do we have any dimensions on this thing yet? (It is possible that I've missed them.)

A colleague was in Beijing for the IAF and said that he saw some slides of people standing next to the rover and some other rover comparisons and said that it is pretty big, but I haven't yet seen a comparison to Curiosity or MER. I'm curious how it stacks up.

Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: NovaSilisko on 10/28/2013 06:19 PM
Do we have any dimensions on this thing yet? (It is possible that I've missed them.)

I haven't seen any exact numbers, the only thing I see is a number on wikipedia that lists the rover as 1.5m tall. No citation, of course...

Maybe a better approximation can be made from images of people near the lander? (such as the one attached)

In this picture though it's safe to say at least the rover's pretty big, around Lunokhod size.

Edit: Attached another picture, much better size reference. However, it seems to just be a mockup so who knows how different that is compared to the real thing.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 10/28/2013 06:24 PM
I have posted some dimensions of the lander in post #147 of this thread, but I have not found any dimension of the rover in the literature
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/29/2013 03:06 AM
BTW the name for the rover is now down to the last ten - the finalists sounds pretty NASA-esque if you ask me....

* Yutu (Jade Rabbit, a.k.a the Moon Rabbit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rabbit‎))
* Tansuo (Explorer/Exploration)
* Lanyue (literally "to pull the Moon into one's arm", probably best translated as the Moon-hugger  ;D)
* Qian Xuesen (Tsien Hsue-shen)
* Zhuimeng (Dreamchaser  :) )
* Xunmeng (Dream-seeker)
* Zhuiyue (Moonchaser)
* Mengxiang (Dream)
* Shiming (Mission/Destiny  ::))
* Qianjin (Forward/Progress  :P)

Given that many of the names has meanings that were already taken by famous spacecrafts, I'll go with the Moon Rabbit - I guess even if it loses it will become its nickname anyway.  ;D

Cast your votes here (http://www.xinhuanet.com/forum/zt2013/yqctp/index.htm)! The initial down-selection voting to the final 3 names ends on Thursday, so don't miss out!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: cmj9808 on 10/29/2013 10:27 AM
A member of 9ifly forum has made a 3-D animation of Chang'e-3 mission and loaded it on youtube. IMO, it's really nice work. He would very much appreciate it if you guys can give some comments and suggestions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsphRNwo_io
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 10/29/2013 01:12 PM
He would very much appreciate it if you guys can give some comments and suggestions.


very nice!
except that, of course, Chang'e 3 is not the first lunar rover mission
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 10/29/2013 09:06 PM
plutonogo posted this graphic earlier. I have annotated it to include the dimensions at their locations.

At some point I may also annotate it to include the far more logical English measurement units.
Title: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Star One on 10/30/2013 08:03 AM
I saw it suggested in comments on another site that the lander for this was so large that maybe it could be the basis for a manned lander later on, to me that seems pretty unlikely?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: stone on 10/30/2013 10:09 AM
I thought it is planed big enough to host the sample return equipment for the Chang'e-5 lunar probe,so that they have not to worry about changed design?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Star One on 10/30/2013 12:41 PM

I thought it is planed big enough to host the sample return equipment for the Chang'e-5 lunar probe,so that they have not to worry about changed design?

That suggestion makes far more sense to me as far as its design is concerned.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: hwshenhw96 on 10/30/2013 04:15 PM
He would very much appreciate it if you guys can give some comments and suggestions.


very nice!
except that, of course, Chang'e 3 is not the first lunar rover mission

it has been told in the video that chang'e 3 is the first lunar in recent 37 years but not in history
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 10/30/2013 05:13 PM
it has been told in the video that chang'e 3 is the first lunar in recent 37 years but not in history

video only says:
"first roving exploration of the lunar surface"
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: KevWang on 10/30/2013 08:01 PM
it has been told in the video that chang'e 3 is the first lunar in recent 37 years but not in history

video only says:
"first roving exploration of the lunar surface"

I think it means"China's" first roving exploration of the lunar surface. If you look the video carefully, the whole sentence is "China's first soft-landing beyond earth (and,) first roving exploration of the lunar surface." The mistake is just grammatical.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 11/02/2013 05:53 PM
From Xinhua, City-made lunar rover set for moon (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2013-11/02/c_132853309.htm).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/03/2013 10:28 PM
Do we have a ground track for this launch?  I'm interested because the rover has a Plutonium 238 radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/04/2013 12:36 AM
Do we have a ground track for this launch?  I'm interested because the rover has a Plutonium 238 radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

The rover is solar powered. But it has RHUs.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/04/2013 01:12 AM
Do we have a ground track for this launch?  I'm interested because the rover has a Plutonium 238 radioisotope thermoelectric generator.
The rover is solar powered. But it has RHUs.
Hmmmm.  AIAA got it wrong then (RTG was listed in an Aerospace America article).  RHU's still make me interested in the ground track.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: cmj9808 on 11/04/2013 04:02 AM
Do we have a ground track for this launch?  I'm interested because the rover has a Plutonium 238 radioisotope thermoelectric generator.
The rover is solar powered. But it has RHUs.
Hmmmm.  AIAA got it wrong then (RTG was listed in an Aerospace America article).  RHU's still make me interested in the ground track.

 - Ed Kyle

AIAA is right. It's a BiTe thermoelectric converter-based small RTG whose output is about 0.1We, similar to the Angel RTG used on Mars 96 lander. The RTG can only drive electric heaters during the lengthy night because of such a low power, so basically, it's used as a RHU.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/04/2013 09:04 PM
AIAA is right. It's a BiTe thermoelectric converter-based small RTG whose output is about 0.1We, similar to the Angel RTG used on Mars 96 lander. The RTG can only drive electric heaters during the lengthy night because of such a low power, so basically, it's used as a RHU.

But the paper that was attached earlier states:

"During the lunar nights, the Lander and the Rover will go into the lunar-night sleep mode, and by use of radioisotope heater units (RHU) and two-phase fluid loops, lunar-night survival will be achieved."

Do they use a fluid system for the lander and an RTG for the rover?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: cmj9808 on 11/05/2013 04:31 AM
AIAA is right. It's a BiTe thermoelectric converter-based small RTG whose output is about 0.1We, similar to the Angel RTG used on Mars 96 lander. The RTG can only drive electric heaters during the lengthy night because of such a low power, so basically, it's used as a RHU.

But the paper that was attached earlier states:

"During the lunar nights, the Lander and the Rover will go into the lunar-night sleep mode, and by use of radioisotope heater units (RHU) and two-phase fluid loops, lunar-night survival will be achieved."

Do they use a fluid system for the lander and an RTG for the rover?

I just read the paper <Technological advancements and promotionroles of Chang’e-3 lunar probe mission>. So based on the described information, it seems the engineering team chose RHU rather than RTG for both rover and lander.
The RTG was mentioned by Dr. Ouyang Ziyuan, PI of the Chang'e lunar explore program. Given that Dr. Ouyang is an astronomer, it's possible that he confused RTG and RHU. 
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/05/2013 11:28 AM
Does anybody mention what isotope they are using? is it Pu-238?

If so, that has interesting implications, because China did not (and may still hot) have the capability to manufacture Pu-238.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 11/05/2013 11:31 AM
Does anybody mention what isotope they are using? is it Pu-238?


Xinhua is reporting Pu-238
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2013-11/02/c_132853309.htm
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/05/2013 03:56 PM
Does anybody mention what isotope they are using? is it Pu-238?


Xinhua is reporting Pu-238
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2013-11/02/c_132853309.htm

That article also says that the nuclear battery "will power" the rover. I think that's wrong. The rover has solar panels.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 11/05/2013 04:52 PM
A member of 9ifly forum has made a 3-D animation of Chang'e-3 mission and loaded it on youtube. IMO, it's really nice work. He would very much appreciate it if you guys can give some comments and suggestions.
This video is now private -- does anyone have any information on why? Is there another version somewhere? There is no other version on the user's Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/pockn0).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: 20350902 on 11/05/2013 06:12 PM
A member of 9ifly forum has made a 3-D animation of Chang'e-3 mission and loaded it on youtube. IMO, it's really nice work. He would very much appreciate it if you guys can give some comments and suggestions.
This video is now private -- does anyone have any information on why? Is there another version somewhere? There is no other version on the user's Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/pockn0).

I don't know why. But here's a copy on Youku: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjI3NzIxNzU2.html
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/06/2013 06:43 PM
Dr. Spudis has a new blog article Chang'e-3 lander:

http://www.spudislunarresources.com/blog/china-america-and-the-moon-boldness-and-abdication/#comment-1800

Quote
Wu Ji, director general of the China National Space Science Center, reportedly is “dismayed by recent changes.... I feel that America is gradually contracting and closing itself off.  It’s a very strange thing.” ...

No doubt we will continue to misread Chinese intentions in space, as we have done so many times for so many other areas of policy over the years.  If space has national geopolitical implications (and the past 50 years of history demonstrates that it does), our absence from the Moon is as just significant as Chinese interest in (and use of) it.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/08/2013 02:04 AM
Conversed with one of my colleagues who is very familiar with the isotopes stuff. He said that he's done a lot of research on Chinese capabilities and has determined that the material on the lander and rover is:

-Pu-238
-in RHU form (NOT RTGs, unlike what has been reported in several places)
-manufactured in China.

On that last point, he said that the Chinese have invested in the expensive infrastructure required to manufacture the Pu-238. That could have some interesting implications. Does it imply that they have more ambitious robotic spacecraft missions in mind?

I'm writing something for TSR on this subject.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Star One on 11/08/2013 09:05 AM

Conversed with one of my colleagues who is very familiar with the isotopes stuff. He said that he's done a lot of research on Chinese capabilities and has determined that the material on the lander and rover is:

-Pu-238
-in RHU form (NOT RTGs, unlike what has been reported in several places)
-manufactured in China.

On that last point, he said that the Chinese have invested in the expensive infrastructure required to manufacture the Pu-238. That could have some interesting implications. Does it imply that they have more ambitious robotic spacecraft missions in mind?

I'm writing something for TSR on this subject.

Well as they appear to have the intent to send a craft to Jupiter surely such a capability is a must for such a mission. Best I would have thought to get the experience in now before carrying out something so ambitious.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 11/08/2013 04:51 PM
No launch date yet? Need to plan a launch party.

Actually, after scanning recent articles i found this :
http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2013/10/news-analysis.cfm
Quote
China is often criticised for not being specific about mission dates, but this is probably because the nation’s space programme is led more by engineering conservatism than media-savvy politicking. The Western alternative of announcing dates, and then delays or cancellations, is no better. That said, Xu Dazhe, the chairman of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, gave the launch date of Chang’e 3 as 13 December, arguably another example of increasing transparency
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/08/2013 11:59 PM
No launch date yet? Need to plan a launch party.

Actually, after scanning recent articles i found this :
http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2013/10/news-analysis.cfm
Quote
China is often criticised for not being specific about mission dates, but this is probably because the nation’s space programme is led more by engineering conservatism than media-savvy politicking. The Western alternative of announcing dates, and then delays or cancellations, is no better. That said, Xu Dazhe, the chairman of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, gave the launch date of Chang’e 3 as 13 December, arguably another example of increasing transparency

Hmm... all Chinese and English sources that I have seen indicates . December 1 GMT launch date - but can he be reporting the time of D-day?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 11/09/2013 03:46 AM
The 1st December date was mentioned back in August, i haven't found a more recent cite
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/08280858-change-3-proceeding-toward-launch.html

Considering Akin's laws of spacecraft design:
Quote
27. (Varsi's Law) Schedules only move in one direction.

Either a slip, or, a miscommunication and the 13th date could be indeed the d-day.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/09/2013 01:34 PM
A few weeks ago I was at a Lunar Exploration and Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting where somebody was presenting all the information he had gathered about Chang'e-3. I was not listening closely, but I believe he had some information about the tracking ship schedule and it did not completely jibe with a December launch. Something like the tracking ship returning to port by the beginning of December. Probably just faulty data, but perhaps worth looking at.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/09/2013 01:45 PM
A few weeks ago I was at a Lunar Exploration and Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting where somebody was presenting all the information he had gathered about Chang'e-3. I was not listening closely, but I believe he had some information about the tracking ship schedule and it did not completely jibe with a December launch. Something like the tracking ship returning to port by the beginning of December. Probably just faulty data, but perhaps worth looking at.

Quite the opposite - according to latest AIS tracking all the tracking ships are currently at port and will go out very soon.  ::)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/09/2013 07:00 PM
A few weeks ago I was at a Lunar Exploration and Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting where somebody was presenting all the information he had gathered about Chang'e-3. I was not listening closely, but I believe he had some information about the tracking ship schedule and it did not completely jibe with a December launch. Something like the tracking ship returning to port by the beginning of December. Probably just faulty data, but perhaps worth looking at.

Quite the opposite - according to latest AIS tracking all the tracking ships are currently at port and will go out very soon.  ::)

He had found something like a future schedule that showed one or more of them returning to port in December. I was not paying enough attention to find out what his source was. He said that most sources indicated a December launch, but he had this one piece of data that did not fit.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/09/2013 07:02 PM
I have read the Aerospace America article by Craig Covault on CE-3 and I was underwhelmed by it. I don't know why the author did not contact any American robotic spacecraft experts (JPL and MSFC have studied robotic lunar landers in detail, and Ames has also looked at the subject). Aldrin and Cernan are really not good sources for an article about robotic exploration of the Moon. That said, the article made an interesting claim that the Chinese are building SIX of these landers:

-CE-3 and a backup
-CE-4 and a backup
-CE-5 and a backup

He claims that CE-4 and 5 are both sample return missions.

Does anybody have a reliable source for this information?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 11/09/2013 07:15 PM

He claims that CE-4 and 5 are both sample return missions.

Does anybody have a reliable source for this information?
The numbers seem off, all previous articles said that Chang'e 4 is a backup built for Chang'e3, just as Chang'e-2 was a backup craft built for Chang'e 1, with its mission expanded after inital success. Chang'e-4 launch date has been quoted as 2014-2015 in the past.
Multiple articles say the same, but this one has the quote from the source
http://english.sina.com/technology/2012/0724/489448.html
Quote
According to Ouyang, the Chang’e-4 satellite will be the back-up of Chang’e-3, thus leaving the task to Chang’e-5 to return to Earth carrying with samples from the moon.
Because the Chang’e-5 will be too heavy for the current carrier rockets, China plans to launch it in Wenchang, Hainan province with the Long March- 5 rocket which is still under development.


EDIT: I dug up a series of articles from Xinhuanet english, making a mention of either Chang'e 4 or 5. They have recently talked more about 5, rather than 4. Here are relevant quotes with the speaker name included


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-03/02/c_13758065.htm
2011-03-02
Quote
China is expected to launch its fifth lunar probe, Chang'e-5, in 2017 to send back a moon rock sample to earth, a top Chinese space scientist told Xinhua Wednesday.

A lunar landing probe, lunar surface patrol device and other equipment would be carried by Chang'e-5, said Ye Peijian, chief designer of Chang'e-1, the country's first moon probe, and chief commander of the Chang'e-2 and Chang'e-3 missions.
...
"A soft-landing on moon will be a main aim for Chang'e-3," Ye said.
...
After Chang'e-3, China would launch Chang'e-4 with the goal of achieving automatic patrols on the moon, Ye said.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-03/05/c_131447340.htm
2012-03-05
Quote
The launch of Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4 is part of the second step of China's three-phrase lunar probe projects of orbiting, landing and returning.


http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-03/14/c_132232333.htm
2013-03-14
Quote
Chang'e-5 is expected to be China's first lunar explorer to return to Earth. The mission will be carried out before 2020.

The experimental spacecraft will consist of the Chang'e-2 lunar orbiter base structure as well as the return capsule that will be used by the Chang'e-5, said Hu Hao, chief designer of the lunar exploration program's third phase and a deputy to the National People's Congress.

"The Chang'e-5 mission will enter the prototype phase this year," he said. The mission involves a "relay" approach that requires precision rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2013-11/02/c_132853309.htm
2013-11-02
Quote
..according to Ouyang Ziyuan, the project’s chief scientist.
The country will launch its fifth lunar probe, the Chang’e-5, in 2017 to bring back samples from the surface of the moon in the final step of the its unmanned lunar project, Ouyang said.

This 2011 presentation also explicitly says:
http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/pdf/pres/stsc2011/tech-49.pdf
Quote
Chang’e-4 Mission
Chang’e-4 Mission Chang’e-4 is the backup of Chang’e-3 mission


Plus this : http://www.johnslewis.com/2013/02/exploring-moon-next-ten-years.html
Quote
In 2015 we can expect the launch of China’s Chang’e 4 lander and rover.  This mission, featuring increased rover autonomy, will extend the technical scope of Chang’e 3

So all sources seem to indicate that 4 will be the same platform as 3, taking some more risks and extending the autonomy.




Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/09/2013 11:59 PM
Thanks for that. But aside from the numbers, is there any indication that they are mass producing the spacecraft? Do they have five more building in addition to Chang'e-3?


Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/10/2013 02:37 AM
My further pursuit of information on the Chang'e-3 RHUs:
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/12/2013 01:38 PM
My article has gone up. It has already resulted in some new information about Russia-China cooperation on the development of these heat sources:

http://thespacereview.com/article/2401/1

Red isotopes
by Dwayne Day
Monday, November 11, 2013

Next month, if all goes according to plan, China will launch a spacecraft to the Moon. Their goal is to land the Chang’e-3 spacecraft on the Moon’s Bay of Rainbows and deploy a rover, and if the Chinese succeed it will be the first lunar soft landing since the mid-1970s, and the first rover on the Moon since 1973. It will also represent a significant technological achievement, and provide valuable scientific data.

So far China has released a fair amount of information about Chang’e-3, including numerous photos of the lander and rover. The lander is big: 2.5 meters on a side, and 4.76 meters from one landing gear to the opposite one. Fully fueled its mass is 3800 kilograms and it is capable of delivering a 1700-kilogram payload to the Moon’s surface. It is not really big enough to carry humans, but it can carry much more payload than the relatively small rover it is hauling on this mission.

There are still many unanswered questions about the mission. One of the more interesting ones is how the Chinese plan on keeping the lander and rover warm during the long lunar night. According to a paper by Sun ZeZhou, Jia Yan, and Zhang He in Science China (“Technological advancements and promotion roles of Chang’e-3 lunar probe mission”), the lander and rover are equipped with radioisotope heating units, or RHUs, using a two-phase heat transfer system.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 11/12/2013 03:19 PM
That is very good information. Wonder if any source can verify and clarify the chinese capabilities about PU-238 production, if its Pu-238 they are using, or clarify what the rover is actually using. I guess it seems to be a simple case of Russian collaboration and technology transfer, according to the russian article references posted there.

( this thread probably deserves a bump too http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32899.0 )
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/12/2013 09:28 PM
That is very good information. Wonder if any source can verify and clarify the chinese capabilities about PU-238 production, if its Pu-238 they are using, or clarify what the rover is actually using. I guess it seems to be a simple case of Russian collaboration and technology transfer, according to the russian article references posted there.

( this thread probably deserves a bump too http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32899.0 )

I'm pretty sure that they are using Pu-238. I did not say it in the article, but a colleague said that he has heard the CE-3 program manager say explicitly that they are using Pu-238. It's just that I do not know of any official documents that declare it. The question then becomes where are they getting it from. I think that they are manufacturing it themselves. But again, there's no clear confirmation of that. These would be good questions for a reporter to ask the CE-3 people during their press conferences for the mission:

-what material are you using?
-where are you getting it from?
-do you have plans to use it on future space missions?
-which ones?
-are you planning on developing an RTG and for what mission?

I expect that CE-4 will repeat the use of RHUs. And their sample return mission will probably do the same. Do they have a mission that will require an RTG?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/14/2013 04:15 AM
I have the Chinese doing a Polar Orbiter Solar Probe in 2023 and a Jupiter Orbiter in 2025 in my manifest. These missions could be done using solar panels, but having an RTG would allow for a more capable mission.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/14/2013 08:45 AM
In other news, the reviews done on November 8 approves the spacecraft for propellant filling - which I presume should have been completed by now.

Source (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=272303)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: hwshenhw96 on 11/14/2013 10:15 AM
A member of 9ifly forum has made a 3-D animation of Chang'e-3 mission and loaded it on youtube. IMO, it's really nice work. He would very much appreciate it if you guys can give some comments and suggestions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsphRNwo_io

A bad news: the animation maker POCKN said early this day in weibo(china's Twitter) that  he cannot release the complete version of this animation for some reasons can't be told.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: plutogno on 11/15/2013 05:18 PM
a paper on the APXS instrument mounted on the lunar rover (pdf not yet available)
http://www.cjss.ac.cn/EN/abstract/abstract1994.shtml
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/20/2013 07:49 AM
Well the launch processing has gone all quiet (complete opposite to the processing of MAVEN!), but the spacecraft has already been transferred to the launch pad (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=273187) for stacking!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: su27k on 11/20/2013 11:51 AM
A bad news: the animation maker POCKN said early this day in weibo(china's Twitter) that  he cannot release the complete version of this animation for some reasons can't be told.

Yeah, what a shining example of Chinese space program's openness, where is the guy who claim China space program is more open then US commercial companies?

For those who don't know China, this is what China really like: Even if you try to praise the government, you may get silenced because your voice doesn't align with propaganda bureau. Now just think about what the government will do if you're not praising them...
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 11/20/2013 12:50 PM
As an aside from this thread's main topic, I have been following the Chinese programme since the first Dongfanghong launch in April 1970 and I never thought it would be as open as it is these days.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/20/2013 01:14 PM
As an aside from this thread's main topic, I have been following the Chinese programme since the first Dongfanghong launch in April 1970 and I never thought it would be as open as it is these days.


I was in Hong Kong in 1975 and first came to mainland China in 1984. There have been lots of good changes here. China is modernizing. And thus, so can everywhere else. I'm optimistic about both our planet and Moon. 
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/20/2013 01:19 PM
As an aside from this thread's main topic, I have been following the Chinese programme since the first Dongfanghong launch in April 1970 and I never thought it would be as open as it is these days.

It's all relative. As Jim Oberg has pointed out, the Chinese are far more open about their plans than the Soviets ever were during the Cold War. Of course, that doesn't mean that they are as open as the United States or ESA, even on civilian programs. And they release nothing on their military space programs.

My impression is that the Chinese hurt themselves at times by either not being open, or not understanding what they need to do in order to be accepted as a serious player by other space powers. And some aspects of their program are hurting them, like the fact that their human space program is run by the PLA. That leads a lot of people to distrust them.

But I do think they are learning. If you look at the papers from the last IAF congress in Beijing a few months ago, it is clear that the Chinese decided to present a lot of papers and release a lot of information on their activities. And they are being fairly open about Chang'e-3.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: su27k on 11/22/2013 06:07 AM
It seems that you get hurt when someone claims that China has more openness than US 8)

No, what he claimed is Chinese space program has more openness than US commercial companies. Claiming China is more open than the US is simply absurd (and also off topic).

Quote
Being "low-profile" is the nature of Chinese, nothing to do with government.

Not sure what you're talking about here, everything in China is controlled by the party, there's no such thing in China as "nothing to do with government". And no, "low-profile" is not the nature of Chinese, have you even been to China and seen the # of BMW/Benz/Audi on the road?

Quote
Furthermore, Pock n cannot proceed with his animation only because the copyright thing (go and check his post in 9ifly forum), nothing to do with the government, either.

Yeah, right, like people really care about copyright in China. Also 9ifly forum is hosted in China, which means whoever runs the forum has to submit his personal information to the government and promise he has the resource to censor the forum 24x7 (just another example of everything in China is controlled by the party), so why should I trust anything posted on the forum?

Quote
If you insist on talking about politics, you'd better choose another forum, like Pakistan Defense forum or something.

I have no intention of starting politics discussion here, I'm simply offering an observation related to the Chinese space program, it is you who are trying to steer the topic away from this.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: su27k on 11/22/2013 06:36 AM
As an aside from this thread's main topic, I have been following the Chinese programme since the first Dongfanghong launch in April 1970 and I never thought it would be as open as it is these days.

If you define "openness" as the amount of government propaganda released via CCTV and other government channels, sure, why not, after all a major reason for their space program is to prove party's leadership is lawful and valid.

But I define "openness" as people are allowed to say what's in their mind regarding the program, so I don't see much openness here. Wake me up when their journalists are allowed to post space news without going through censors.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Liss on 11/22/2013 07:46 AM
On November 20 Yuanwang 3 left Jiangyin and passed Shanghai to open seas in the morning of November 21. Two other ships departed Nov 16 and 19. My guess is that all the three ships began their support for Chang'e 3 launch.
As of November 21, 12:44 UTC, the leading ship Yuanwang 6 was at 13.32°S, 142.67°E, some 100 nmi west of Guam. Don't know where Yuanwang 5 is right now.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: frank808 on 11/22/2013 06:27 PM
According to the latest report in vesselfinder  http://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9413054  (http://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=9413054) ,  Yuanwang 5 is already in east of Taiwan, under the planned flight route of Chang'e 3.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/22/2013 06:47 PM
Maybe an esteemed administrator could transfer all of the political discussion to a separate threat please?   I never imagined that my innocent observation would lead to such discussions which are nothing to do with the Chang'e 3 mission.

Why not just let the conversation play itself out and die? I think people call for censorship too quickly on this site.

Besides, it's a valid question of what constitutes "openness" about the Chinese space program. I think they release a lot of information, and there's certainly a lot available on Chang'e-3. That doesn't mean that people in China are free to say whatever they want, but it's all relative, and part of the discussion here is deciding what we mean when we try to put these discussions on a spectrum.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: Satori on 11/22/2013 07:25 PM
Let's keep this thread on-topic, please!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/25/2013 06:31 AM
The spacecraft has already been stacked on the rocket and encapsulated, as expected from the processing time line.

A CNSA press conference will be held early tomorrow - maybe by then we will get a launch time.  ;)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/25/2013 03:02 PM
A CNSA press conference will be held early tomorrow - maybe by then we will get a launch time.  ;)

Do we have any idea of the date? Even a rough estimate? Is there a lunar launch window, for instance?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/25/2013 03:06 PM
A CNSA press conference will be held early tomorrow - maybe by then we will get a launch time.  ;)

Do we have any idea of the date? Even a rough estimate? Is there a lunar launch window, for instance?
if you mean launch date this is what you are looking for:
December 1 2013 (~1700UTC) - CZ-3B/GIII (Y23) - XSLC, LC2 - Chang'e-3 (Moon lander/rover)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: beidou on 11/25/2013 08:05 PM
A CNSA press conference will be held early tomorrow - maybe by then we will get a launch time.  ;)

Do we have any idea of the date? Even a rough estimate? Is there a lunar launch window, for instance?

I think the news conferenceon Tuesday will answer many questions regarding the launch date, time and proceedures, etc. So stay tuned. (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=273938&fromuid=24484)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 11/26/2013 01:05 AM
Here is, I think, a transcript of the briefing: http://news.ifeng.com/mainland/special/changesanhao/content-3/detail_2013_11/26/31566769_0.shtml

And this appears to be a Q and A:
http://202.106.152.92:8080/asop/login.asop

The name of the rover is Yutu ("Jade Rabbit").
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/26/2013 01:58 AM
...and they have entirely skipped the mission timeline! So it seems that the launch date (with 5 days to go) is still under tight wraps (haven't seen any newspapers mentioning it anywhere)....  >:(
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: savuporo on 11/26/2013 06:22 AM
Quoting again the previously given 13th Dec date...

Actually, after scanning recent articles i found this :
http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2013/10/news-analysis.cfm
Quote
China is often criticised for not being specific about mission dates, but this is probably because the nation’s space programme is led more by engineering conservatism than media-savvy politicking. The Western alternative of announcing dates, and then delays or cancellations, is no better. That said, Xu Dazhe, the chairman of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, gave the launch date of Chang’e 3 as 13 December, arguably another example of increasing transparency
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: chewi on 11/26/2013 08:18 AM
The name of the rover is Yutu ("Jade Rabbit").

Also one of the translations – "Jasper Hare"  :)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: limen4 on 11/26/2013 01:30 PM
On Nov 19 a Chinese friend with good contcts to Xian Satellite Controll Center gave me the followong timeline:
launch 2013-12-2 1:00 - 1:30,
join moon orbit at 2013-12-6 10:30,
landing on moon 2013-12-16.
(All dates local time)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/26/2013 01:51 PM
On Nov 19 a Chinese friend with good contcts to Xian Satellite Controll Center gave me the followong timeline:
launch 2013-12-2 1:00 - 1:30,
join moon orbit at 2013-12-6 10:30,
landing on moon 2013-12-16.
(All dates local time)

OMG Thank you very much!  :D The lunar landing should happen early at night over China to facilitate longer communication windows - in fact a 2008 postgraduate paper (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=264107) examining the landing windows in Dec. 2013 gives the center of the landing window on Dec. 16 as 12:36 UTC.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 11/26/2013 03:16 PM
the moon rises at 8.13 UTC (16.13 local time) in Shanghai, where one of the Chinese deep space network stations is located. give them time for some tracking and for the descent and you get a landing time around 12 UTC.
the moon then sets around 00 UTC on the 17th (8 am local time) in Kashgar, where the westernmost station in located, so the probe has to be on the surface by then.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 11/26/2013 03:26 PM
Here's a Google Translate version of the transcript link posted above. I just skimmed it and it looks like a decent translation (by which I mean that I can understand it--I don't know the original language at all):





OTC Explanation: The release of public information center director Li Duo SASTIND chaired SASTIND spokesman Wu Zhijian , deputy commander of lunar exploration Lee are attending the conference.

Li Duo : Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen , Hello everybody , SASTIND lunar exploration phase Chang E III task first press conference now . First, let me tell you about the guests attending today's press conference , Defense Science and Industry Bureau spokesman Mr. Wu Zhijian , deputy commander of the lunar exploration project Mr. Li Benzheng . I am a public information center director Li Duo SASTIND welcome everyone soon. Here we have invited Mr. Wu Zhijian to introduce the progress of Chang E III lunar exploration project .

Wu Zhijian : Ladies and gentlemen , the news media, friends, good morning . Shoulder " sangrakwol " task of Chang E on the 3rd of the development and testing has been completed , launch vehicles and detectors have been transferred to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center site . If the weather and other conditions are met, will choose the launch in early December this year . Here , I report and Chang E III lunar exploration mission of the situation to everyone .

First, the situation of China's lunar exploration program . Lunar exploration project is a major national science and technology projects . Implementation of lunar exploration projects, is a major decision , the State Council , the Central Military Commission and the future development of the global strategy aimed to make , after following the artificial earth satellites, manned space flight , another major space activities in the peaceful exploration , development and utilization of space . Of China's lunar exploration program planned for " around, down , back to" three . Lunar exploration mission is to achieve a surround lunar exploration . Chang E One satellite on October 24, 2007 launch, in-orbit effective detection of 16 months , in March 2009 successfully controlled collision month, the realization of China 's independently developed satellite into lunar orbit and get full month figure . Two lunar exploration mission is to achieve a soft landing of the lunar surface and automatic inspection surveys, including Chang E II, III , fourth three times the task . Pilot Star Chang-e II on October 1, 2010 launch , access to the world's first full month increase 7 m resolution map , as well as Chang E on the 3rd mission to verify some of the key technologies , and the pre-selected areas of focus detection sangrakwol . To achieve the stated goal of the project after the completion of scientific and exploration missions , carried out around the Sun-Earth Lagrange 2:00 probe and seven million kilometers from Earth at the realization of Tutadisi rendezvous asteroid flyby probe .

Currently, Chang E II satellite escape from the Earth has exceeded 60 million kilometers , being farther toward deep space . Chang E fourth task is Chang E III backup. Three lunar exploration mission is unmanned sample return .

Second, the case has been made lunar exploration scientific results . By Chang E One, Chang-e II twice task of lunar exploration program has achieved fruitful scientific results. Chang-e task of getting the 1st full moon 120 -meter resolution imagery, three-dimensional lunar topographic maps and other achievements, and get a lot of raw scientific data. Conduct scientific research in order to fully utilize these data to promote scientific exploration of the moon , established the " Lunar Exploration Science Applications Committee " to mobilize the whole society , including Hong Kong and Macao , including scientific research , the preparation of a geological map of the first piece of the Moon Rainbow Bay area and structural outline map, for the first time won the day and night of the full moon microwave image , proposed lunar magma ocean crystallization age of 39.2 billion years , and the East China Sea Basin tilt moon crash causes new ideas . These results further enrich the human perception of the moon. Chang E II mission moon won seven meters resolution three-dimensional images , produced a better than 1.5 -meter resolution image map Rainbow Bay area , the confrontation in Chenghai District, discovered the existence of the lunar surface residual magnetism caused by micro- magnetosphere further measuring the lunar surface chemical elements , the initial uranium , potassium, thorium , magnesium, aluminum , silicon, calcium and analyzed in-depth study of the full moon brightness temperature distribution and temperature characteristics of lunar soil , completed the four scientific objectives . In expanding mission, completed the day to probe the space environment near Lagrange 2:00 , the first in the world to achieve Tutadisi asteroid flyby rendezvous detection.

Third, Chang E III task progress . Chang E III lunar exploration mission as two of the main tasks is to "around , down, back to the " three-step key step , the three projects will achieve the goals and tasks to complete three types of scientific exploration . Three engineering goals : first , to break lunar soft landing , lunar exploration, deep space communications and remote monitoring and control operations, deep space exploration launch vehicle and other key technologies to enhance the level of space technology ; Second , the development of lunar soft landing detectors and rover , build deep space ground station , get including launch vehicles, lunar probe , launch , deep space monitoring stations , ground application of functional modules , with the basic ability to detect soft landing of the lunar surface ; three is to establish a basic system of lunar exploration aerospace engineering , a scientific and effective method for major engineering project implementation . Three types of scientific exploration tasks: First , lunar topography and geological surveys ; Second, the composition of the lunar surface material and available resources survey ; Third Earth plasma layer detection based optical astronomical observations and month .

Lunar exploration major special leading group is to explore organizational leadership and decision-making bodies month project by the National Defense Science and Industry Bureau, the Development and Reform Commission , Ministry of Science , Ministry of Finance , Ministry of Education , the General Armament Department , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Chinese Academy of Engineering , China Aerospace Science and Technology Group Company and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation and other units, SASTIND as head of the unit . The establishment of a lunar exploration administrative and technical two command line, appointed commander and the chief architect of the project , the establishment of lunar exploration and aerospace engineering center.

In lunar exploration project leading group of major projects , the task of implementing organizational Chang E III system , the overall project and detectors, rocket , launch , and control communications, ground application system composed of five . The overall project includes a system demonstration project commander , the chief architect of the system and the lunar and Aerospace Engineering Center , in charge of the project, the overall design and organization and implementation. Detector system by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is responsible , the main task is to develop Chang E III lunar probe . Chang-e III probe by the lander and Patroller two composed . After landing the lunar surface , the measurement and control system and ground application system support, the probe carrying a payload to carry out scientific exploration . Launch vehicle systems by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is responsible , the main task is to develop an improved Long March III B carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center , the Chang-e III probe launch directly to the height of 200 km perigee , about 380,000 km apogee height the earth-moon transfer orbit. The main task is responsible for the launch rocket system , the detector tests at the launch site and launch , the Xichang Satellite Launch Center through adaptive transformation, with an improved Long March III B rocket test launch capability . The main task is to launch vehicle monitoring systems in all phases of flight and sensor monitoring session at the lunar surface , measure and determine the orbit , lunar surface patrol device targeting and landing , and months later sangrakwol control detector. Responsible for ground application system by the Chinese Academy of Sciences , the main task is to develop the scientific exploration program , payload operation management , detection data reception, processing and management, applied research and scientific organizations .

Chang E III mission critical technology needs to overcome many technical difficulties, high implementation risk . In the project implementation process, the difficulties faced by the seven , including the timely launch ground test validation, multiple windows, narrow width , lunar soft landing , the two separated , between January to remote operation, the survival of the lunar surface , measurement and control communications. More than five years , under the leadership of the project leadership team , works two total depth line, well-organized , strong coordination, strictly closely with five systems , work together , set of intellectual and technological research and development unit , worked hard , the whole system in accordance with the "guarantee quality, security progress , safety, security success " of the general requirements , to promote the work . Exploration of outer space is the relentless pursuit of mankind . The Chinese government regards the development of the space industry as an important part of the country's overall development strategy , and always adhere to the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes . General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that " the development of the aerospace industry , building aerospace power, aerospace is our relentless pursuit of the dream ." Shoulder " sangrakwol " mission will help China Chang E III lunar dream by dream , aerospace dream. We firmly believe that , under the correct leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council , the Central Military Commission , and all those involved in research and participating personnel firm belief, remember our mission , adhere to the " strict, careful , detailed, real " style , will be able to complete a soft landing for China's first celestial bodies reconnaissance and patrol mission !

Li Duo : Thank spokesman , Mr. Li Benzheng below please sign name announced results .

Lee are : Distinguished guests , friends from the media , good morning . For the first name of a lunar rover , can fully reflect the will of the Chinese people across the country and even the world , rich era , nationality , mass characteristics, we started on September 25 , organized a global Zhengminghuodong . After the works submitted , the initial evaluation finalists , online voting , final assessment , reporting approved five stages , China 's first lunar rover vehicle name has been generated. I now announce the name of Chang E III lunar rover is: rabbit numbers.

Here , I briefly to tell you about the circumstances of the Zhengminghuodong . Since September 25 press conference held Zhengminghuodong began to levy Oct. 25 deadline to submit the name , the name of the work levy Tencent received 146,898 ; Xinhua Zheng received the name works 46189 . Two sites together, received a total of 193,087 work levy name , remove duplicate names outside of the receipt of the name 53091 . These names are full of deep meaning of national culture ; full of Chinese aerospace rich emotion ; full of bright hope for global Chinese . Two sites concerned Zhengminghuodong , browse the web , send microblogging and comments , totaling approximately more than 2580 million.

Not only the general public to submit names levy works via the web , there are a lot of people through letters , telephone, fax and Email , etc., to actively contribute their wisdom rover Zhengminghuodong . Them , there are students in the school , there are retired people , workers , farmers and scientists and has PLA officers and men , as well as expatriate Chinese . We feel that this Zhengminghuodong deepened our understanding of the masses of lunar exploration , promotion of the implementation of the significance of China 's lunar exploration program , reflecting the people across the country and overseas compatriots concern for national scientific and technological progress , reflected their homeland increasingly powerful heartfelt pride , but also stimulate their strong patriotic enthusiasm.

Collection of 53,091 names , we organized a jury of experts from the scientific and technological and cultural experts , finalists were carried out the initial evaluation , online voting and final assessment. By finalists assessment, 10 finalists were selected names, Xinhua submitted comments online voting . 10 days received a total of 3,445,248 valid votes , including rabbit number, 649,956 , the vote first .

And after final evaluation, the results of the weighted votes of the judges and the public vote is calculated , and finally by the lunar exploration project leading group of major projects approved by China's first lunar rover named a "rabbit numbers ." " Rabbit number" embodies the traditional culture of the Chinese nation, but also reflects the purpose of peaceful use of space . According to legend, when the " Chang E " embrace Ben rabbit , rabbit goodness, purity, image and agile structure of the lunar rover mission both the shape and likeness . Willing "rabbit No. " rover early stroll Rainbow Bay . Thank you !
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: beidou on 11/26/2013 04:15 PM
On Nov 19 a Chinese friend with good contcts to Xian Satellite Controll Center gave me the followong timeline:
launch 2013-12-2 1:00 - 1:30,
join moon orbit at 2013-12-6 10:30,
landing on moon 2013-12-16.
(All dates local time)

You have a good powerful friend ;D
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 11/26/2013 08:42 PM
A CCTV report on Chang'e-3 and some predecessors on the moon..
http://sn.ifeng.com/zixun/shipin/detail_2013_11/26/1510168_0.shtml (http://sn.ifeng.com/zixun/shipin/detail_2013_11/26/1510168_0.shtml)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1715UTC)
Post by: input~2 on 11/27/2013 06:25 AM
Quote
A1915/13 -  A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY N260808E1142921-N261444E1140013- N255857E1135553-N255223E1142456 BACK TO START. VERTICAL LIMITS: GND-UNL. ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO FLY INTO THE AREA. GND - UNL, 01 DEC 17:23 2013 UNTIL 01 DEC 17:50 2013. CREATED: 27 NOV 03:27 2013

Quote
]A1914/13 -  A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED BOUNDED BY N272159E1083650-N273125E1074313- N271528E1073946-N270603E1083315 BACK TO START.VERTICAL LIMITS: GND-UNL. ALL ACFT ARE PROHIBITED TO FLY INTO THE AREA. GND - UNL, 01 DEC 17:21 2013 UNTIL 01 DEC 17:40 2013. CREATED: 27 NOV 03:22 2013
Lift off expected around 1725UTC
 
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: input~2 on 11/27/2013 06:55 AM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: Blackstar on 11/28/2013 01:03 PM
This is neat.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: Blackstar on 11/28/2013 01:03 PM
Some more.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: baldusi on 11/28/2013 05:50 PM
This is neat.
It does put it into perspective. It was speculated for an ascent stage for a sample return. But how different would that be from ascending with crew? Even if they developed a different system, it could have a lot of "legacy" and lessons learned. Now I'm very seriously thinking that the Chinese pretend to land crew on the Moon by 2025/30.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: NovaSilisko on 11/28/2013 05:54 PM
pretend to land crew on the Moon by 2025/30.

I assume you mean "intend", and not that the Chinese will try to fake a lunar landing...
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: baldusi on 11/29/2013 02:49 AM
pretend to land crew on the Moon by 2025/30.

I assume you mean "intend", and not that the Chinese will try to fake a lunar landing...
Yes, sure. Transliteration from Spanish. I meant intend.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/29/2013 07:10 AM
Less than 60 hours to liftoff!
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/29/2013 09:04 AM
I know that ESA ground stations has supported Chinese manned spaceflight and planetary missions, but I don't know about this fact:

Quote
ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations
Our #Kourou station will acquire signals from #ChangE3 shortly after launch & track it all the way to the #Moon pic.twitter.com/WVCcmA7HKM (http://pic.twitter.com/WVCcmA7HKM)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: plutogno on 11/29/2013 09:05 AM
an article on ESA's help in tracking CE3 gives (at last!) some detail of the timing
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon

in particular:
Quote
Chang’e-3 liftoff is set for around 18:00 GMT on 1 December, and the 15 m-diameter dish in Kourou will pick up the first signals around 18:44 GMT.

and, most importantly
Quote
its descent to the surface, expected around mid-day on 14 December.
The landing and rover operations on the Moon will be commanded via two Chinese tracking stations at Kashi, in the far west of China, and at Jiamusi, in the northeast.

the moon rises in eastern China around 6.45 UTC, expect landing 3-4 hours later
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 11/29/2013 09:34 AM
That is very good information. Wonder if any source can verify and clarify the chinese capabilities about PU-238 production, if its Pu-238 they are using, or clarify what the rover is actually using. I guess it seems to be a simple case of Russian collaboration and technology transfer, according to the russian article references posted there.

( this thread probably deserves a bump too http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32899.0 )

Chinese New Report on this subject, way back from from 2006 This should clear the Pu-238 Issue.

Quote
2006-11-19 10:19:21 中国能源信息网

             
    11月18日,国防科工委科技与质量司在我院召开“百毫瓦级钚-238同位素电池研制”验收会,我国第一个钚-238同位素电池正式通过验收。同位素电池的研制成功填补了我国长期以来在该研究领域的空白,标志着我国在核电源系统研究上迈出了重要的一步。
 
     同位素电池利用放射性同位素衰变过程释放的热能,通过热电耦转换成电能,具有尺寸小重量轻、性能稳定可靠、工作寿命长、环境耐受性好等特点,能在高空、海洋等各种特殊环境下工作。

    随着我国空间探测技术的进一步发展以及未来深空探测的需求,为我国航天器提供稳定、持久的能源已提到议事日程上来。迄今为止,航天器仪器、设备最理想供电来源就是同位素电池,掌握同位素电池制备的一系列关键技术并具备自主研制生产能力显得尤为重要。

    2004年,同位素所承担了“百毫瓦级钚-238同位素电池研制”任务,在两年时间内,同位素所和协作单位完成了总体设计和一系列相关工艺研究,研制出样品。最终检测表明,电池辐射防护检测的各项指标均符合国家安全要求,性能达到了技术指标要求。验收会上,项目负责人罗志福就该项目的研制过程、关键技术、创新点及项目管理情况进行了汇报,专家组在认真听取各项报告,现场观看电池样机,审查相关资料后,一致同意通过项目验收。

     该项目的顺利验收标志着我国第一台钚-238同位素电池研制圆满成功,填补了我国在该领域的空白,为我国发大功率同位素电源的研制奠定了一定技术基础。

本篇文章来源于中国电力信息网|Power.NengYuan.Net

Google translate
Quote
2006-11-19 10:19:21 China Energy Information Network Review

    November 18 , National Defense Science and Technology and Quality Division in the hospital held a " one hundred milliwatts isotope plutonium-238 batteries developed " acceptance will , China's first plutonium-238 isotope batteries formally approved. The successful development of isotope batteries have long filled the gaps in the study of the field , marking China's research on the nuclear power system has taken an important step forward.
 
     Isotope batteries use radioisotopes decay process releases heat into electrical energy by a thermocouple , small size with light weight , reliable performance , long working life , environmental tolerance and good features , can a variety of special high-altitude environment , oceans , etc. in next job.

    With the further development of China's space exploration technologies and future deep space exploration needs, providing stability for our spacecraft , lasting energy has been on the agenda . So far , spacecraft instruments, equipment ideal isotope power source is a battery , the battery master a series of key technologies isotopes prepared and have independent research and production capacity is particularly important.

    In 2004, the isotope commitment to the " one hundred milliwatts isotope plutonium-238 battery research " task , in two years time , isotope and collaborative units to complete the overall design and a series of related technology research, developed the sample . Final testing showed that the detection of radiation protection battery indicators are in line with national security requirements, performance reached the technical requirements . Acceptance of the meeting, the project leader Luo Zhifu development process for the project , the key technologies, innovation and project management carried out a report , the group listened carefully to the report , after the scene to watch the battery prototype , review the information , it was agreed by project acceptance.

     The project marks the successful acceptance of China's first plutonium-238 isotope batteries developed a complete success , to fill the gaps in the field, laid the foundation for the development of certain technologies hair isotope power supply .

This article comes from China Power Information Network | Power.NengYuan.Net
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: savuporo on 11/29/2013 09:28 PM
BBC ran a lengthy piece on the overall moon exploration strategy

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/25141597

Not much new, just reiteration that China is seriously thinking about exploiting the moon for its unique environment and resources, which the BBC correspondent labels as "startling vision"

Another bit :
http://english.cntv.cn/program/newshour/20131128/103287.shtml
"China will for the first time, use the X-band observation system in tracking and controlling Chang’e-3. This is unlike the previous mission, which used the S-band system."

The X-band system was test flown on Chang'e-2 as a secondary unit. Apparently now its the primary.

https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/c-missions/chang-e-2
Quote
4) The Chang’e-2 project developed and applied high sensitive digital transponder X-band technology based on a uniform carrier system; it also demonstrated the use of X-band deep space TT&C system and technology. This represents an advancement of China’s TT&C system from S-band to X-band system for higher transmission rates; it established the foundation for future deep space exploration missions.

EDIT: further updates on ESA tracking cooperation
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon/
http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1113015865/esa-collaborates-on-chinese-moon-mission-112913/

Tech paper on previous ESA Chang'e-2 tracking and standards used
http://spaceops2012.com/proceedings/documents/id1275505-Paper-001.pdf
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: Kryten on 11/30/2013 01:49 AM
 Finally an official lift-off time, from Xinhua (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-11/30/c_132930356.htm);
Quote
XICHANG, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- China will launch the Chang'e-3 lunar probe at 1:30 a.m. Monday in Xichang Satellite Launch Center, the mission's launching headquarters said here Saturday.
1:30am China Standard Time translates to 9:30 UCT 17:30UCT Sunday.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/30/2013 11:00 AM
Today's news reports from CCTV: (all in Chinese unfortunately, but I am sure that the animations are worth looking for; maybe someone here can help digging out the English reports?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfhJKRq1Tbg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUr0nLJ5OJs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI-ZI1booko

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oldgucK_XAg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26E7lflY7WM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okoxzTG1j2U
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: darklighter on 11/30/2013 11:22 AM
The first picture was recently taken by some of YW-6’s crew who were expressing their blessings to CE-3.
The Chinese characters they were holding:
远望六号祝福嫦娥三号(Yuanwang 6 blesses Chang’e 3.)

The second was taken 2 years ago during field test of the rover in Kumtag Desert. Signs were placed on a dead but long-standing trunk of a diversifolious poplar (胡杨, Hu Yang). The tree is also considered as a symbol of the spirits of those who devoted themselves to the founding of Dongfeng Space City (JSLC).
From bottom to top:
汕头(Shantou) 3272km
上海(Shanghai) 2868km
西安(Xi’an) 1?30km
兰州(Lanzhou) 1148km
敦煌(Dunhuang) 210km
北京(Beijing) 2073km
月球(The moon) 384,401km

Best wishes to CE-3 and all the teams.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: tehwkd on 11/30/2013 12:35 PM
Any confirmed webcasts? Will CCTV cover liftoff?

Does anyone have links to CCTV streams? (lost mine)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: snowhole on 11/30/2013 04:03 PM
Any confirmed webcasts? Will CCTV cover liftoff?

Does anyone have links to CCTV streams? (lost mine)
http://english.cntv.cn/special/lunarmission/index.shtml

But it's on Monday (or Sunday for most of the regions).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/01/2013 01:18 AM
This is neat.


Yep! A picture is sometimes worth more than ten thousand words.

It is really nice to know someone on Earth currently has the interest, political support, and funding to build a large Lunar Lander!

Best of luck to Chang'e-3 and Yutu (Jade Rabbit), the Moon rover.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 02:07 AM
@esaoperarions twitter feed will be one to watch for tracking updates, along with #ChangE3 hash tag. No live thread here yet less than 24h to launch ?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:31 AM
The spacecraft is to be powered on in a hour from now. Upper stage cryogenic fuel loading will start at 10:10 UTC.

CCTV plans to go live on the launch at 16:00 UTC (i.e. 1.5 hours before launch) - I guess this will be the same for its English channels.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 04:39 AM
Some related photos from Xichang over the past few days....
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 04:45 AM
And news reports from earlier today (I really need to take a break from writing college papers to translate them!  :-\):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re3BrTHtK4M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sI4oT3f-wcw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZNgNHLji4w
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 05:04 AM
More in depth story about ESA - CNSA cooperation

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1369895/chinas-change-lunar-launch-has-backup-european-space-scientists

Quote
The collaboration is a key step towards Europe's ambition to strengthen ties with China in space exploration, and eventually secure a seat on a future Shenzhou space capsule.

"That would definitely be one of the goals we are heading for," Thomas Reiter, the director of Human Spaceflight and Operations at the European Space Agency (ESA), told the Sunday Morning Post.
...
"Scientists want to come to China because China offers them an opportunity to do something that nobody has done before," Falanga said.

Also, Xinhuanet english is running a special section under a red banner now for Chang'e-3
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/change3/
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 06:39 AM
The Chang'e 3 MCC at the National Astronomical Observatories (NAOC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences:

(images from http://slide.news.sina.com.cn/c/slide_1_2841_38127.html (http://slide.news.sina.com.cn/c/slide_1_2841_38127.html))
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 06:45 AM
XSLC earlier today:

(images from http://news.qq.com/a/20131201/004324.htm (http://news.qq.com/a/20131201/004324.htm))
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 07:39 AM
Weather reports at Xichang are looking great - while it was overcast during the last few days, meteorologists are reporting that even that should clear up today: http://news.cntv.cn/2013/12/01/VIDE1385874841944903.shtml (http://news.cntv.cn/2013/12/01/VIDE1385874841944903.shtml)

From the news report above, this is the current predictions of the weather during launch time:

Temperature 4-6°C (dew point 2-4°C), low scattered clouds up to 30% coverage, humidity 60-80%, ground winds NW @ 1-3 m/s, maximum upper level winds 64 m/s from 280° direction at 11000m altitude.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 09:35 AM
ESA tracking team just posted this
http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2013/12/01/esa-support-to-chinas-change-3-is-go/

Quote
ESA's Erik Soerensen, at ESOC and responsible for Estrack support to external partners, has just sent in this report:

This morning all still go for launch - the fuelling of the rocket is completed, the weather is OK. Yes, the interface between ESOC and China's BACC – the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Centre – is working. BACC is the headquarters of the tracking and control system for Chang'e 3.

The Xinhua News Agency posted an update yesterday, giving a somewhat updated lift-off time of 18:30 CET.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 09:39 AM
LN2 and LOX filling of the third stage should have started at 10:10 and 10:20 UTC respectively. LH2 filling will start at 11:50 UTC.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 09:41 AM
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 10:12 AM
Updates should be sparse from me till about 2 hours later as I am outside - feel free to add news reports here while I'm out.  ;)

In the meantime here's the rocket in its full glory:  :)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Maciej Olesinski on 12/01/2013 10:30 AM
Is there any live stream where I can watch the start?
How long it threre left till liftoff?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 10:32 AM
Is there any live stream where I can watch the start?
How long it threre left till liftoff?

Liftoff is exactly 6 hours from now. Try http://english.cntv.cn/live/ (http://english.cntv.cn/live/) for live coverage starting at 16:00 UTC (liftoff at 17:30 UTC).
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 10:42 AM
Is there any live stream where I can watch the start?
How long it threre left till liftoff?

Liftoff is schedule for 1730UTC.

CCTV International (http://english.cntv.cn/live/p2p/index.shtml) should have the live transmission of the launch.
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD 1730UTC)
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 10:43 AM
Has a launch mass been published for Chang'e 3?   Or the mass when on the lunar surface?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 10:47 AM
This is now a live coverage thread...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 10:48 AM
Has a launch mass been published for Chang'e 3?   Or the mass when on the lunar surface?

I have a launch mass of the lander 1,200 kg and 120 kg for Yutu.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 10:50 AM
Chang'e-3 lunar probe ready to launch (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2013-12/01/c_132932566.htm)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Liss on 12/01/2013 10:58 AM
Has a launch mass been published for Chang'e 3?   Or the mass when on the lunar surface?
Launch mass is said to be 3780 kg.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/01/2013 11:12 AM
this paper http://tech.scichina.com:8082/sciE/CN/abstract/abstract412275.shtml includes a nice graph of the mass as a function of time during descent. I am not sure this is applicable to CE3, however, and the initial mass of 2000 kg appears to be just a convenient assumption
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Liss on 12/01/2013 11:52 AM
As of 2013.11.30 the three Yuanwang ships were stationed at:

Yuanwang-3: 16.47°N, 141.67°E
Yuanwang-5: 09.44°N, 157.89°E
Yuanwang-6: 02.05°N, 168.44°E
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 01:26 PM
Nighttime photos....  :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 01:44 PM
Some pictures of several Chang'e 3 lander/rover n' CZ-3B models on sale - apparently officially recognized by the CLEP so should be very accurate. I'll try to identify the main parts later on.....

(details here (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12876-1-1.html))
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 01:47 PM
Photo taken earlier today...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 02:06 PM
So how bad the situation is on lunar in-situ exploration? Well this chart sums it up..... (http://www.chartgeek.com/moon-landings-chart/)

(graph made by Matt Baker at chartgeek.com (http://chartgeek.com))
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 02:08 PM
30 hr fueling complete in topping off until launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 02:10 PM
A handy reference of the sizes of various lunar probes. The second graph is a modified version that shows Chang'e 3 at the lower-right hand corner.

(original graph by Richard Kruse of http://historicspacecraft.com/ (http://historicspacecraft.com/); Chang'e 3 version by pockn (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12883-1-1.html) at the 9ifly Chinese spaceflight and aviation forums)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/01/2013 02:21 PM
A handy reference of the sizes of various lunar probes.

nice! however, Luna 12 is missing (it was quite different from Luna 10), as well as Hiten and Hagoromo and Ranger Block I was not really a lunar probe
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 02:46 PM
According to http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2013-12-01/232528862010.shtml (http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2013-12-01/232528862010.shtml) Chang'e 3 will arrive at lunar orbit (100x100 km at 90 deg. inclination) about 5 days after launch (according to earlier reports LOI is planned at ~02:30 UTC on Dec. 6). 4 days later (Dec. 10) the lander will lower its orbit to 15 x 100 km. Another 4 days later the "several minutes of terror" will finally come as the lander fires for landing from the pericynthion.

So this essentially means that "D-Day" is now scheduled on December 14 as opposed to December 16 as originally reported - in line with the report by ESA!   ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 02:48 PM
Several forum members at 9ifly is now visiting Xichang for the launch - here's the latest reports from them! http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12739-3-1.html (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12739-3-1.html)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 02:49 PM
And some more CZ-3B shots....  8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: robertross on 12/01/2013 02:57 PM
And some more CZ-3B shots....  8)

really appreciate the updates!

Those rovers model are really cool; one almost looks metal!
(and it looks like the last one floats on a magnet)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: otisbow on 12/01/2013 03:01 PM
When does the launch coverage start on CCTV?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:02 PM
When does the launch coverage start on CCTV?

Should be right now. (I'm watching the Chinese news channel so please someone help with checking the English side)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:04 PM
When does the launch coverage start on CCTV?

Should be right now. (I'm watching the Chinese news channel so please someone help with checking the English side)

Confirmed that the English side is live too. Please help with the screenshots!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:08 PM
some snapshots from the news channel.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:09 PM
When does the launch coverage start on CCTV?

Should be right now. (I'm watching the Chinese news channel so please someone help with checking the English side)

I seem to have the news highlights and not the "live" channel....looking
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 03:12 PM
When does the launch coverage start on CCTV?

Should be right now. (I'm watching the Chinese news channel so please someone help with checking the English side)

I seem to have the news highlights and not the "live" channel....looking

Yes, not live yet...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 12/01/2013 03:13 PM
They've done a couple brief mentions of Chang'e 3. They're mixing launch coverage with regular news highlights, but did say they'd carry the launch live. Said they were loading liquid hydrogen into (I think) 3rd stage, weather looks good.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: otisbow on 12/01/2013 03:14 PM
I am watching CCTV-4 from the Galaxy-3C US satellite.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 03:18 PM
I am watching CCTV-4 from the Galaxy-3C US satellite.

Wow - how did you get on board Galaxy 3C???   The view from there must be amazing. :-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: otisbow on 12/01/2013 03:19 PM
It is!!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:24 PM
I am watching CCTV-4 from the Galaxy-3C US satellite.

ok we can watch that (no English) link http://www.cctv-4.com/2013/      It likes windows player
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 03:25 PM
Has a launch mass been published for Chang'e 3?   Or the mass when on the lunar surface?
Launch mass is said to be 3780 kg.

Thank you Igor.   Way back about ten years ago I estimated that the mass would be around 3,500 kg or so.   The 1,200 kg which Satori quotes must be the mass when sitting on the lunar surface, presumably with the rover still on board.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:31 PM
ok just went live
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 03:32 PM
And now CCTV International is live...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 03:32 PM
Special live coverage has started on CCTV International
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:34 PM
Rui's great overview article!
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/china-change3-rover-to-the-moon/
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:35 PM
Quality if far better on the English ver. So Im going with that...

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:35 PM
Wallpaper-class photos from Xinhua:
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:39 PM
Very good English language coverage here:
http://english.cntv.cn/live/p2p/index.shtml

Always very impressed by this presenter.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:39 PM
They needed to design a special adaptor to the launcher for this probe.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 03:39 PM
Some pics from rocket assembly
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 03:42 PM
Mission profile
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:42 PM
Looking back on Chang'e-1.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 03:44 PM
In the cleanroom
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:45 PM
Stating the importance of propulsive landing success.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:48 PM
More friendly words from ESA again.....but it's relevant as they are helping with tracking and comms.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 03:48 PM
ESA providing tracking support
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/01/2013 03:49 PM
one of the guys on CCTV let the info slip: landing in 14 days...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:52 PM
one of the guys on CCTV let the info slip: landing in 14 days...

That's in line with the December 14 landing date reported by one other Chinese news article stated a few pages earlier, as well as by ESA (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 03:53 PM
Yutu
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:53 PM
Service platforms retracting right now...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:55 PM
one of the guys on CCTV let the info slip: landing in 14 days...

That's in line with the December 14 landing date reported by one other Chinese news article stated a few pages earlier, as well as by ESA (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon).

And Rui's article! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 03:56 PM
Coming up on T-30 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 03:56 PM
Shown home grown micro motors
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/01/2013 03:59 PM
one of the guys on CCTV let the info slip: landing in 14 days...

That's in line with the December 14 landing date reported by one other Chinese news article stated a few pages earlier, as well as by ESA (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon).
So more or less about the time Morpheus is set to play around in the sand box at KSC.... How coincidental.... :o
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:00 PM
Cool models
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 04:01 PM
Lander and Rover models
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:01 PM
Han Bin from the control center
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/01/2013 04:03 PM
one of the guys on CCTV let the info slip: landing in 14 days...

That's in line with the December 14 landing date reported by one other Chinese news article stated a few pages earlier, as well as by ESA (http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Operations/Helping_China_to_the_Moon).

I know, but they had never mentioned the date before during the live coverage...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:03 PM
Heh "Everyone is very busy here, but I don't know what they are doing". (He just got his phrasing wrong, bless!)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:04 PM
Live from the launch pad
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:06 PM
...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 04:07 PM
Final training for the consoles in preparation for the poll later....
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: lucspace on 12/01/2013 04:07 PM
CCTV international seems to have a bit of a delay: more 'live' view: http://tv.cntv.cn/live/cctv13/
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 04:08 PM
Can't believe they have people walking around.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Joffan on 12/01/2013 04:09 PM
There still seems to be quite a lot of people wandering around in the launch zone under and around the rocket with 27 minutes to go...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:10 PM
I think they said earlier that the last evacuation of personnel is at T-15mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:10 PM
Looks like we have the excellent Emily Lakdawalla ‏@elakdawalla following along! :)

T-20 mins.

Not surprising to see people walking around the pad area still. You can see that ahead of Russian launchers up to around T-10 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:11 PM
Umbilicals
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:11 PM
Nice view of the umbilical connections.

Prop and ECS.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:15 PM
Can launch during two launch windows per day on three consecutive days.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:17 PM
Under T-15 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:17 PM
Can launch during two launch windows per day on three consecutive days.

Yes, first window is 4 minutes long, second window 60 seconds long.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:17 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:18 PM
Wide view of the Long March 3B. Not a big venter like the Falcon 9.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 04:19 PM
countdown
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:20 PM
10 minutes for launch!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:20 PM
T-10 mins. Will be into pad clear now.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:21 PM
One of the umbilicals just popped off. I assume that was planned.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:22 PM
Confirmation of pad clear....
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 04:23 PM
Has any mention been made of the parking orbit inclination to be used?   ~28.5 deg or closer to 31 deg?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 04:24 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:25 PM
T-5 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:25 PM
Five minutes for launch...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:26 PM
T-4 minutes
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:28 PM
120 seconds for launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:28 PM
T-120 seconds.

Good luck Goddess and Bunny!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:30 PM
T-60 seconds. Series of umbilicals being detached in sequence (since T-10 mins).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:30 PM
Arms retracting
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:30 PM
30 Seconds. Good luck Long March 3B!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/01/2013 04:30 PM
Launch!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:30 PM
Ignition!

LAUNCH  :) !!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 04:30 PM
Launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:31 PM
LAUNCH!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:31 PM
First stage flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:31 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:31 PM
MaxQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:32 PM
Launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:32 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:33 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:33 PM
Beautiful!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:33 PM
 .
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:33 PM
Staging.

Booster sep.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:34 PM
T+200 seconds. Nominal flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:34 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:35 PM
Should be at fairing jettison.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 04:35 PM
Amazing quality live video feed from the rocket at multiple camera angles
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:35 PM
From inside the rocket
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:36 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/01/2013 04:36 PM
ESA estrack first signals to be expected in about 1 hour
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:36 PM
Staging. 2-3 Sep.

Third stage ignition.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:37 PM
Staging
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2013 04:37 PM
next stage

shameless plug next live event 3D printing  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31329.msg1126427#msg1126427
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:37 PM
Interesting plume. Not as dramatic as others.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:38 PM
Third stage nominal flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:40 PM
550 seconds into powered flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:40 PM
End of the first burn of the 3rd stage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 04:41 PM
Tracking from Taiwan?

EDIT: Looking more carefully, I think it's just a tracking station on the Fujian coast.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:41 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 04:41 PM
Woweeee - I am breathing again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:42 PM
Next is the TLI burn!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:42 PM
Short coast phase.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:42 PM
...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 04:43 PM
Signal appears to have been acquired by a tracking ship.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:44 PM
Exact launch time 1730:00.344UTC
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:44 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:44 PM
Re-start.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:45 PM
Going for the Moon!!!!!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:45 PM
Ignition again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 04:45 PM
Phew, we are officially past the Phobos-Grunt milestone now !
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 04:47 PM
AOS by second tracking ship.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:47 PM
End of TLI burn!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 04:48 PM
Shutdown! Speed 10.87 km/s.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:48 PM
MECO.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:49 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/01/2013 04:49 PM
Shutdown! Speed 10.87 km/s.


Shutdown time about T+17 min 25s?  plus or minus a few, 1748 UTC
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:49 PM
1138 seconds: Chang'e-3 separation!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:49 PM
View from below Chang'e 3
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/01/2013 04:50 PM
S/C sep!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/01/2013 04:50 PM
And stage 3 / spacecraft sep at 1140 seconds! Congrats to China CELP
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:50 PM
S/C Sep! On the way to the Moon!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:50 PM
Chang'e-3 separation  :)!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:50 PM
Separation!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 04:50 PM
Some nice thruster firings.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: ugordan on 12/01/2013 04:51 PM
Looks like they're testing out thrusters now.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/01/2013 04:52 PM
Where's the third stage going, is it able to be deborbited?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:52 PM
...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:52 PM
Isn't that a reflection???
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:53 PM
There are no burns of the main engine on the way to the Moon!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 04:55 PM
The probe will do some trajectories correction, but I don't think it will use the main engine. I think that this will only be used for the landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 04:57 PM
Ground track passing to the north-east of Australia
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 04:58 PM
That was a solar eclipse by Chang'e 3 rather than by the Moon. :-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: yzcbuaa on 12/01/2013 04:58 PM
i think so. the light seems concentrated a little bit or it just looks like this in space?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 04:58 PM
The probe will do some trajectories correction, but I don't think it will use the main engine. I think that this will only be used for the landing.

Probably also LOI right?

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Artyom. on 12/01/2013 04:59 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_zkXd6mUqg
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: ugordan on 12/01/2013 05:00 PM
Wow, that Earth really has shrunk in the last couple of minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 05:02 PM
Picture of Earth by the upper stage
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:02 PM
210.3 x 389109.2 km x 28.5 deg. orbit reported.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/01/2013 05:02 PM
Wow, that Earth really has shrunk in the last couple of minutes.

Sorry Chris (know this is an update thread)

Is this view from Chang'E, or from the 3rd stage? The camera seems to rotate to wherever they want it to? Isn't it body mounted?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 05:02 PM
Is this view from Chang'E, or from the 3rd stage? The camera seems to rotate to wherever they want it to? Isn't it body mounted?
This is from 3rd stage
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 05:03 PM
The probe will do some trajectories correction, but I don't think it will use the main engine. I think that this will only be used for the landing.

Probably also LOI right?



I'm not sure. The engine can be used for LOI or they can use the 150N thrusters for a longer burn. I'm not sure if the Trajectory Correction Maneuvers are made with the main engine.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 05:03 PM
It's cool. This isn't like a SpaceX thread where we've got the barriers up for crowd control! ;)

Great view of Earth!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 05:03 PM
Wow, that Earth really has shrunk in the last couple of minutes.

Sorry Chris (know this is an update thread)

Is this view from Chang'E, or from the 3rd stage? The camera seems to rotate to wherever they want it to? Isn't it body mounted?

Probably venting residual propellants has made it tumble.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 05:04 PM
2000 seconds after launch - and here's what you would get to see out of the window.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 05:05 PM
Nice animation:
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 05:06 PM
These english commentator statements are quote worthy .. "When can we say, that the first stage of the launch is a success ??" "So, does this mean that we are in space ??"

EDIT: on a second thought, for an uninformed observer, questions like these are perfect to get some understanding ..
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jakusb on 12/01/2013 05:06 PM
Very impressive footage!
Even better then on SpaceX's last launch. Almost no loss of signal. Only just now, after it is out of range of the 3rd boat. ESA to take over soon?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: ugordan on 12/01/2013 05:07 PM
Probably venting residual propellants has made it tumble.

It wasn't tumbling, that looked like a pre-programmed maneuver. Could be a collision avoidance maneuver and/or preparation for tank blowdown.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/01/2013 05:07 PM
Very impressive footage!
Even better then on SpaceX's last launch. Almost no loss of signal. Only just now, after it is out of range of the 3rd boat. ESA to take over soon?

AOS should be in about 27 minutes
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jakusb on 12/01/2013 05:08 PM
The commentary is more speculation then I would expect. Even the expert assumes a lot, or is it language barrier?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/01/2013 05:08 PM
210.3 x 389109.2 km x 28.5 deg. orbit reported.

Thank you!   I assume that there was no plane change from the parking orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 05:08 PM
View from control center:
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 05:09 PM
These english commentator statements are quote worthy .. "When can we say, that the first stage of the launch is a success ??" "So, does this mean that we are in space ??"

EDIT: on a second thought, for an uninformed observer, questions like these are perfect to get some understanding ..

They are very good, although they caught me out twice via my posting of their noted milestones....leading to 15 people posting "no Chris, it's not that" ;D

That was a lot of fun!

Lots of screenshots getting out there on twitter too (no problem if they are taken from this thread. We don't own CCTV ;)) Good to see lots of interest in this mission.

We'll be continuing coverage on this thread and then into landing coverage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 05:10 PM
Launch pictures...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 05:10 PM
Launch replays:
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 05:11 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/01/2013 05:11 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 05:13 PM
Oh, still one major coverage milestone to come yet:

ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations 50s
Just about 35 mins until our #Kourou station 'sees' #ChangE3 rising above the horizon in the South West #AOS  http://bit.ly/1bBbSk3
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:13 PM
Last set of pre-launch photos. Launch photos are already coming in.....  8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:14 PM
Oh, still one major coverage milestone to come yet:

ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations 50s
Just about 35 mins until our #Kourou station 'sees' #ChangE3 rising above the horizon in the South West #AOS  http://bit.ly/1bBbSk3

Actually there's one more - the solar arrays will deploy in 3 minutes...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 05:14 PM
Very impressive footage!
Even better then on SpaceX's last launch. Almost no loss of signal. Only just now, after it is out of range of the 3rd boat. ESA to take over soon?

AOS should be in about 27 minutes

Will first AOS be from a ground station in Chile? (appears so from the broadcast image)

Nevermind, just saw the twit saying it will be from Kourou. The Chilean one appears to be theirs.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/01/2013 05:14 PM
"Why do we need international co-operation"
"Uhh..because the Earth is round. And from one location, you can't get a universal picture... of...the Universe."


#EPIC Commentary :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/01/2013 05:15 PM
210.3 x 389109.2 km x 28.5 deg. orbit reported.

Awesome, thanks for that!
ESA will be tracking the probe but they say they won't be making the orbital data public, boo! ;-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/01/2013 05:15 PM
AOS Santiago confirmed
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:15 PM
Landing legs on the lander has just been deployed. Next is the solar arrays in 2 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Space Pete on 12/01/2013 05:17 PM
Congrats China! Nice to see somebody finally heading back to the Lunar surface - in fact this is the first Lunar surface mission of my lifetime. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/01/2013 05:18 PM
I'm not sure. The engine can be used for LOI or they can use the 150N thrusters for a longer burn. I'm not sure if the Trajectory Correction Maneuvers are made with the main engine.

I guess they will want to test it before using it for a critical burn like LOI or landing
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/01/2013 05:18 PM
Landing legs on the lander has just been deployed. Next is the solar arrays in 2 minutes.

On why they deployed it now: Rather do it ASAP, when it's closest to Earth... (signal strength etc., for any corrective measures I assume)
I heard one of the English commentators saying earlier that the solar arrays needn't be deployed, and the batteries can take care of the craft until it gets to the moon? (That they'll also get some energy from the side arrays..)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Mapperuo on 12/01/2013 05:19 PM
Nice clean feed of launch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgZslWEQZHY
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:19 PM
Good deployment of the solar arrays.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: belegor on 12/01/2013 05:20 PM
Solar arrays deployed
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:22 PM
Now the official announcement. Apparently the first launch window is 3 minutes 33 seconds long...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/01/2013 05:22 PM
Applause from control center, well done China!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2013 05:23 PM
ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations
China's #ChangE3 mission control has replied: Copy :-) Confirms solar arrays deployed #BACC #ESOC
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: robertross on 12/01/2013 05:23 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/01/2013 05:27 PM
Hey, it's Steve!   He was the press officer for the American Astronomical Society for many years.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: robertross on 12/01/2013 05:29 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/01/2013 05:30 PM
CCTV's interviewing someone from AAS, who drew a parallel between a "remote controlled" rover on the moon, with Apollo. I don't know if he gets the irony :P
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: robertross on 12/01/2013 05:32 PM
talking about the resources on the moon, including He3; deep space exploration, and a base.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/01/2013 05:35 PM
ESA estrack kourou has AOS
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: MATTBLAK on 12/01/2013 05:41 PM
GO CHINA!! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Borklund on 12/01/2013 05:47 PM
GO CHINA!! :)
Plus symbol one!

Hoping for a successful landing and moon roving!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 05:51 PM
Last set of pre-launch photos. Launch photos are already coming in.....  8)

And here they are!  8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/01/2013 06:00 PM
ESA estrack kourou has AOS

Good news!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 06:02 PM
ESA Operations ‏@esaoperations 3m
#Kourou station confirms receipt of signals in X-Band now CC

They said they will be using both S-band and X-band before.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Lar on 12/01/2013 06:05 PM
The vid posted just upthread cut away from the on rocket cam during the actual strap on booster separation. Anyone know a vid that has that? I'd like to see the actual separation... Thanks!

Oh, and congratulations to China!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 06:10 PM
Last set of pre-launch photos. Launch photos are already coming in.....  8)

And here they are!  8)

Another set:  ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: yzcbuaa on 12/01/2013 06:11 PM
GO CHINA!! :)
Plus symbol one!

Hoping for a successful landing and moon roving!
Thanks!! we hope that very much too!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 06:13 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: otisbow on 12/01/2013 06:26 PM
Just watched the launch on CCTV-4 and it was KOOL!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/01/2013 06:52 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/01/2013 07:03 PM
Congratulations to China for inserting Change'3 onto a lunar bound trajectory.
Hope all continues well over next few days and mid course trajectory changes and entry into an orbit about the Moon.


Apollo-phill
UK
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/01/2013 07:36 PM
Some xinhua news service reports  -  (it's nice to have the Chinese language ones to check what the actual
Chinese terms are for various parts of the mission).

http://news.xinhuanet.com/2013-12/02/c_118368562.htm
http://news.xinhuanet.com/2013-12/02/c_118368569.htm
http://news.xinhuanet.com/2013-12/02/c_118368558.htm - detailed launch report,
 gives separation time as 1748Z, orbit as 200 x 368000 km., 1818Z as solar array deploy time.


Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Liss on 12/01/2013 07:46 PM
Separation time was 17:48:59.742.
The detailed Xinhua report also lists orbit as 200 x 368000 km.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 08:45 PM
BTW, was this ever posted here ?

http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3.html

Very detailed overview of all instruments.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JimO on 12/01/2013 08:47 PM
I'm going to look for ground videos from farther down track, and maybe Taiwan UFO reports?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: eeergo on 12/01/2013 10:00 PM
BTW, was this ever posted here ?

http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3.html

Very detailed overview of all instruments.

That was very informative and well-composed, thank you!

An interesting and previously-unknown (at least by me) fact: study of the lunar exosphere's disturbance by Chang'e 3's landing is expected to be performed by LADEE. Unforeseen space cooperation between China and the US! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/01/2013 10:11 PM
That was very informative and well-composed, thank you!
Yep, i just found saw that site first time today ( probably a link from twitter )
Their update is very detailed too, with many technical matters discussed not reported elsewhere

http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3-mission-updates.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Ares67 on 12/01/2013 10:34 PM
"Okay, we'll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl."

- Buzz Aldrin, during the Apollo 11 Moon mission


Good luck, "Jade Rabbit"! Looking forward toward a successful Moon landing in mid-December.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: SaxtonHale on 12/01/2013 10:59 PM
So, that sudden brightening after lander separation - was it a reflection from the side-mirror? I know I thought it was from the lander's engine at first, but the sun was behind the horizon from the 3rd stage camera.
Was that geometry on purpose? If so, that is some impressive attention to detail.
Or am I wrong? Was it a perfect eclipse of the sun? I guess I've never seen it keep hidden for so long behind departing hardware.

Edit:
I think it must have been a temporary eclipse of the camera, not a reflection. It makes sense that release was aimed directly at the sun, but at the time (phone screen with spotty coverage, not that I'm complaining about the 21st century) it did resemble engine ignition.

I am excited for that mirror, though.

Re: the English news people - I don't envy having to commentate on a technical event in a foreign language, but I just wish they had given the main anchor a timeline and a 5 minute rundown so he knew what would be happening. Getting the wording as accurate as possible (and missing, sometimes) has been an ongoing theme for this mission.
Interesting to hear the high praise for every other space program. I am very excited for China and can't wait for cameras on the surface!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: pargoo on 12/02/2013 04:51 AM
     Superb selection of hi-res launch shots :)
     Are there equivalent pics for Chang'e 1 and 2? I would dearly love to get a couple for historical completeness.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 05:07 AM
Has anybody seen any good animation or diagrams of exactly how the rover gets down off the lander? I looked at a news broadcast earlier in this thread and the animation was old, showing the rover mounted to the side of the lander, not on top.

Somehow the rover is lowered on the ramp closer to the ground. But I cannot figure out if it drives ONTO the ramp and then the ramp moves (which seems rather risky), or if the ramp is moved with the rover on it, then extended out and down.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 05:15 AM
Has anybody seen any good animation or diagrams of exactly how the rover gets down off the lander? I looked at a news broadcast earlier in this thread and the animation was old, showing the rover mounted to the side of the lander, not on top.

Scroll to 0:22

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C47njSN2qIA#t=22

From the page i linked to (http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3.html) above.

Quote
Following landing on the Moon, the connection between the lander and the rover is severed using unspecified methods. Two ramps, stowed in the vertical position on the side panel of the lander, are deployed to a horizontal position so that the rover can roll onto them from the top deck.

Then, the ramp is carefully lowered using an electromechanical system to touch the surface and maintain an angle the is within the rover’s mobility system specifications so that the vehicle can safely roll off the ramp and begin its own surface exploration mission

Not sure where that information all came from - the author is available to reach on twitter for example.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jason1701 on 12/02/2013 05:28 AM
What factors are driving the 14-day trip time, and why is it so much longer than Apollo's?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 05:31 AM
What factors are driving the 14-day trip time, and why is it so much longer than Apollo's?
Its not 14 days trip - as posted everywhere it should arrive at lunar orbit on 6th of December. Presumably they want to take time for fresh orbital imagery and further spacecraft systems checkout before attempting the landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/02/2013 06:30 AM
Object B (presumably CZ-3B 3rd stage) catalogued as
39459/ 2013-070B in 358 x 906 km x 22.82° (epoch Dec 1, 1930UTC)

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/02/2013 07:51 AM
The deployment of the "Jade Rabbit"  unmanned rover from the top surface of the lander is a novel approach.

I wonder what range of "lander tilt" to the vertical on the lunar surface the ramp deployment mechanism can cope with ?

Also, I wonder if the end of ramps have a small wheel-chock sensor at end ramp to  notify the rover it has reached end ramp - before it is lowered to surface ? Or whether it is an on board rover distance measurement unit ?

Will be following rover deployment with great interest


Apollo-phill
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/02/2013 10:08 AM
First mid-course correction burn completed at 07:50 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/02/2013 12:12 PM

Object B (presumably CZ-3B 3rd stage) catalogued as
39459/ 2013-070B in 358 x 906 km x 22.82° (epoch Dec 1, 1930UTC)

That's answered a question I posed up thread about whether the third stage would be de-orbited or not.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 02:41 PM
Has anybody seen any good animation or diagrams of exactly how the rover gets down off the lander? I looked at a news broadcast earlier in this thread and the animation was old, showing the rover mounted to the side of the lander, not on top.

Scroll to 0:22


Thank you. That looks dubious. As someone later in the thread points out, how do you assure that the rover drives only out onto the ramp and does not fall off the end? In addition, what if the lander is tilted a few degrees to one side? How do you prevent the rover from sliding off an edge? And how do you lock the rover to the ramp as it lowers? Those are some thorny issues.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 03:24 PM
Thank you. That looks dubious. As someone later in the thread points out, how do you assure that the rover drives only out onto the ramp and does not fall off the end?
Normally wheels have encoders on them, so a rover usually knows the distance that it has driven from anywhere.

Quote
In addition, what if the lander is tilted a few degrees to one side? How do you prevent the rover from sliding off an edge?
The wheels for sure and the ramp most likely are not smooth metal surfaces, ramp would probably be coarse grated. It would take a large tilt to overcome static friction in 1/6thg and things to begin sliding.

Quote
And how do you lock the rover to the ramp as it lowers? Those are some thorny issues.
No i dont think so, basic mechanical engineering. The ramp can be effectively a gear rack kind of thing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/02/2013 03:38 PM
Has anybody seen any good animation or diagrams of exactly how the rover gets down off the lander? I looked at a news broadcast earlier in this thread and the animation was old, showing the rover mounted to the side of the lander, not on top.
Scroll to 0:22
...how do you assure that the rover drives only out onto the ramp and does not fall off the end?
Seriously? One wonders if they were that incompetent how'd they mangage to launch a rocket in the first place.
Quote
In addition, what if the lander is tilted a few degrees to one side? How do you prevent the rover from sliding off an edge? And how do you lock the rover to the ramp as it lowers? Those are some thorny issues.
... "thorny" issues that we can safely assume the Chinese have factored in. There's obviously some risk involved with an off-nominal landing on a tilted surface, but many landers/rovers configurations are equally challenged.
Also, FWIW, it looks like the ramps have side walls that keep the rover wheels in position. So, just as a train can handle slightly angled curves on rail, the rover should be able to handle slightly angled ramps.

Edit: and what savuporo said above
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jakusb on 12/02/2013 03:44 PM

Has anybody seen any good animation or diagrams of exactly how the rover gets down off the lander? I looked at a news broadcast earlier in this thread and the animation was old, showing the rover mounted to the side of the lander, not on top.

Scroll to 0:22


Thank you. That looks dubious. As someone later in the thread points out, how do you assure that the rover drives only out onto the ramp and does not fall off the end? In addition, what if the lander is tilted a few degrees to one side? How do you prevent the rover from sliding off an edge? And how do you lock the rover to the ramp as it lowers? Those are some thorny issues.
Ehm, I understand you find the chosen solution curious, but I do not understand why you post your concern like they did not take all that under serious consideration. Do you really think that when they can launch, travel and land on to the moon, they will invent a unpractical solution for the rover?
With the flawless launch and very impressive live streaming, I think they deserve some credit regarding their technical expertise. ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 03:51 PM
Do you really think that when they can launch, travel and land on to the moon, they will invent a unpractical solution for the rover?
Thats an "argument from authority". People on this site seem to be fond of critical thinking on their own, and crazy contraptions ( cough *Skycrane* ) will always be questioned : )
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 03:56 PM
Has anybody seen any good animation or diagrams of exactly how the rover gets down off the lander? I looked at a news broadcast earlier in this thread and the animation was old, showing the rover mounted to the side of the lander, not on top.
Scroll to 0:22
...how do you assure that the rover drives only out onto the ramp and does not fall off the end?
Seriously? One wonders if they were that incompetent how'd they mangage to launch a rocket in the first place.

You seem to have assumed that I'm not asking questions because I want to know the answers and that I must be either stupid or assuming that the Chinese are dumb. I assure you that is not the case.

I note that you didn't provide any answers.

Note that getting a rover off a lander is a non-trivial piece of engineering, as JPL has demonstrated over two decades.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 03:59 PM
Ehm, I understand you find the chosen solution curious, but I do not understand why you post your concern like they did not take all that under serious consideration. Do you really think that when they can launch, travel and land on to the moon, they will invent a unpractical solution for the rover?
With the flawless launch and very impressive live streaming, I think they deserve some credit regarding their technical expertise. ;)

Er, claiming that "they know what they are doing" is not the same as answering the questions that I posed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 04:08 PM
Actually i rechecked the video, you'll see that the ramp surface shown is "perforated" which presumably is designed so that wheels can engage with these like gears.

What i'm wondering is if they can open that ramp to two sides, or one only. Mechanically it would be just slightly more complicated to design it - probably dont even need an extra servo.

If it opens to one side only, they must trust their descent camera and autonomous hazard avoidance a lot - and if that works that would be a pretty big engineering achievement on its own.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/02/2013 04:17 PM
...how do you assure that the rover drives only out onto the ramp and does not fall off the end?
Seriously? One wonders if they were that incompetent how'd they mangage to launch a rocket in the first place.

You seem to have assumed that I'm not asking questions because I want to know the answers and that I must be either stupid or assuming that the Chinese are dumb. I assure you that is not the case.

I note that you didn't provide any answers.

Note that getting a rover off a lander is a non-trivial piece of engineering, as JPL has demonstrated over two decades.
Yes, I presumed that you were assuming the Chinese are dumb. I found it difficult to see why you asked such a question (i.e. how to ensure rover does not drive off the ramp end).

Answers are numerous. Savuporo gave an example or two. Others include, but not limited to:
 -  having wheels that are controlled independantly (which is the case I believe), so if one wheel acts up, the others should prevent crazy movement
 - brakes on the wheels
 - locking pins on the rails
 - safety sensors that cut power to wheels
 - lots of pre-testing with single or multiple faults being present

I've never said that it was trivial, but rather my opinion was that your question was out of place. Based on this discussion, my question is:
- Assuming that all preventive measures fail, and the rover rolls over the edge of the ramp, I wonder if they've tested to see if it can survive such a fall? If yes, then that could be a back-up solution if ever the ramp lowering mechanism fails.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/02/2013 04:21 PM
Actually i rechecked the video, you'll see that the ramp surface shown is "perforated" which presumably is designed so that wheels can engage with these like gears.

What i'm wondering is if they can open that ramp to two sides, or one only. Mechanically it would be just slightly more complicated to design it - probably dont even need an extra servo.

If it opens to one side only, they must trust their descent camera and autonomous hazard avoidance a lot - and if that works that would be a pretty big engineering achievement on its own.
To keep it simple, my guess is that it can only open to one side. The landing site is probably chosen, among other factors, so as to have a low probability of hazards for the off-ramp. That will require a bit of luck, but a very calculated luck.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Mike_1179 on 12/02/2013 05:27 PM
The landing site is probably chosen, among other factors, so as to have a low probability of hazards for the off-ramp. That will require a bit of luck, but a very calculated luck.

But that would limit your landing sites to places where the landing ellipse does not include boulders over some given size at some given concentration.  This landing ellipse also has to take into account what range of lunar latitudes the trajectory would allow and what locations on the lunar surface allow for acceptable thermal and communication  requirements.

All of these impact how you meet your science goals.  If the rover is meant to sample rocks, it's not a very good mission if the only locations that meet these requirements are essentially rock-free.  What are the science goals of the mission (it's more than just "get something on the moon and then celebrate")

Therefore, it's not a dumb or insulting question to ask how the rover drives off the ramp and not off the sides or end if the lander is tilted or near another rock.  While it may seem like a flippant question, it's not - it's a question on how the design of the craft flows down from the mission goals and mission constraints (which themselves are driven by the design and goals).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 06:05 PM
The mission doesnt have any specific rock related science goals, see the spaceflight101 link up in the thread for detailed overview of science instruments carried.
The overall mission goals seem much more engineering and tech development rather than science objectives.
Im pretty sure their mission scientists sstated that their autonomous landing hazard avoidance system is designed to steer clear of any potential problems like craters or rocks.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Danderman on 12/02/2013 06:20 PM
This all begs the question as to whether a digital surface map of the lunar surface exists. If not, the lander would use its radar to determine altitude and a "safe" landing stop.

If the digital map exists, then the lander radar would be used to compare real time data against a digital target landing area.

If the digital map does not exist, it should.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 06:26 PM
The "digital map" exists but is not in high enough resolution to spot boulders of relevant size, thats why chang'e-3 is designed to enter a very low orbit and take up to date imagery of the landing site, plus all the way down the landing camera will look at the surface and run onboard hazard avoidance algo

Edit: Emily Lakdawalla just posted this recent update from LRO imaging the landing site. Thats your "digital map"
http://lroc.sese.asu.edu/news/index.php?/archives/828-A-Great-Place-to-Rove!.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 07:38 PM
Yes, I presumed that you were assuming the Chinese are dumb.

Well, you were certainly wrong there, weren't you?

But here's the kind of derivative questions that I would also ask:

-what is the maximum tilt angle that the lander can accept and still successfully deploy the rover? For instance, if the rover is tilted ten degrees down by one side, could that create a problem?

-is there any way to compensate for tilt? For instance, can the ramps be moved side to side to correct for tilt?

-what if there is a large rock blocking lowering of the ramp? Is there any way to compensate?

Note that JPL has struggled with the issue of rover deployment on Mars, and that was for landers that are much closer to the ground. Pathfinder and the MERs used dual ramps on either side of the lander, allowing the vehicles to drive off in either direction. Curiosity faced this problem in its early design studies and JPL considered things like a "crush lander" (with a type of crushable material underneath the lander). The Skycrane grew out of these and other considerations.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 07:45 PM
Some people may be interested in how the United States could respond to the Chang'e-3 mission. Here are some possibilities.

http://thespacereview.com/article/2413/1

Red Moon, Blue Moon
by Dwayne Day
Monday, December 2, 2013

Yesterday China launched Chang’e-3 on its way to the Moon, with landing scheduled for December 14. If it succeeds, it will be the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon in nearly four decades. Although the lander and rover have a modest scientific instrument suite, they are headed for a previously unexplored region of the Moon and will therefore return new and undoubtedly interesting data. Chang’e-3 will not be alone. NASA currently has two spacecraft—Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LADEE—circling the Moon. But although NASA also has several other possible lunar lander missions that it could start building within the next decade, it is unlikely that a NASA spacecraft will join the Chinese on the lunar surface for many years to come.

NASA divides its planetary missions into three classes: flagship (large), New Frontiers (medium), and Discovery (small). The agency uses the planetary science decadal survey to select science goals for the first two categories. But NASA can also fly robotic missions in support of its human space exploration goals, and those missions are chosen by agency officials based upon their perceived requirements. In the past decade, the agency has flown lunar science missions to support the goals of President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, specifically the goal of sending humans to the Moon. Although the Vision for Space Exploration no longer guides NASA policy, some aspects of that previous policy continue to influence current NASA studies and plans.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 07:45 PM
-is there any way to compensate for tilt? For instance, can the ramps be moved side to side to correct for tilt?
Pure guess but they probably drive the lowering mechanism with a regular servo, so i would think they can extend it to 100%, but also to 80% and 120% deployment positions

Quote
-what if there is a large rock blocking lowering of the ramp? Is there any way to compensate? Note that JPL has struggled with the issue of rover deployment on Mars,
I think they have placed the bet on the landing camera working well enough to avoid rocks. Consider that they can effectively have a human in the loop in the landing sequence, confirming or making the final selection between potential spots - that only requires a few more seconds of hovering time.
This is a luxury that Mars rovers do not have, nor did the last lunar landers four decades ago.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: sdsds on 12/02/2013 07:58 PM
Consider that they can effectively have a human in the loop in the landing sequence, confirming or making the final selection between potential spots - that only requires a few more seconds of hovering time.

That's a fascinating suggestion! Have there been indications they might attempt this?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 08:19 PM
Consider that they can effectively have a human in the loop in the landing sequence, confirming or making the final selection between potential spots - that only requires a few more seconds of hovering time.

That's a fascinating suggestion! Have there been indications they might attempt this?
No but if i was developing the landing sequence this seems like the logical way to structure it, and i dont see why they would do it any other way.

Your autonomous software identifies the primary and backup positions and orientations for landing, and there is a short time window where signal from ground can override the primary selection. If the corresponding command is not received for any reason, the software will proceed with the default sequence.

EDIT: for what its worth, Chinese seem to have learned a lot from Russian teleoperated lunar probes ( apparently even their RHU tech heritage goes back to Lunokhods ) , and if i recall correctly Russians had many human in the loop triggers for their "automated" sequences back then.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/02/2013 08:58 PM
Consider that they can effectively have a human in the loop in the landing sequence, confirming or making the final selection between potential spots - that only requires a few more seconds of hovering time.

That's a fascinating suggestion! Have there been indications they might attempt this?
The few articles I've read suggested that the entire sequence is fully automated. Of course, it is probable that those articles do not have all the detailed info.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/02/2013 09:01 PM
Yes, I presumed that you were assuming the Chinese are dumb.
Well, you were certainly wrong there, weren't you?
As Prober pointed out, your use of the term "dubious" as an adjective for the rover ramp was quite patronizing. I can only go on the words you actually type, not on what you truly deep down were thinking while typing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 09:02 PM
The few articles I've read suggested that the entire sequence is fully automated..
It would have to be fully automated, as you cant rely on radio signal working at the critical moment, however having a fully automated sequence never prevents human overrides - for high level decisions that are not made within milliseconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/02/2013 09:13 PM
another post on the landing site:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/bill-dunford/20131202-somewhere-over-the-bay-of.html

Edit:
And a quick summary of some monday morning headlines about the launch that are either slightly strange or providing something new :
BBC - Is 'Jade Rabbit' lunar mission worth it? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-china-blog-25181876)
Quartz - China’s internet bigshots literally lined up to support its space program (http://qz.com/152647/chinas-internet-bigshots-literally-lined-up-to-support-its-space-program/)
http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2013/12/is-chinas-jade-rabbit-a-precursor-to-a-helium-3-empire/
http://www.mining.com/china-to-search-for-rare-earths-in-the-moon-10476/
http://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/1371320/mining-moon-thats-sheer-lunacy

Not sure what kind of emoticon to use on the last three ..
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/02/2013 09:40 PM
-is there any way to compensate for tilt? For instance, can the ramps be moved side to side to correct for tilt?
Pure guess but they probably drive the lowering mechanism with a regular servo, so i would think they can extend it to 100%, but also to 80% and 120% deployment positions

Not what I meant. Think of it this way: it lands on an incline. From the rover's view straight ahead, the horizon is tinted 15 degrees sloping up to the right, meaning that the right hand ramp is higher than the left hand ramp. Can it compensate? Or is there a risk that when they uncage the rover from the hold-downs on the top of the lander that it could tumble to one side? Related question, what is the maximum tilt that it can accommodate and safely drive off?

I'm not necessarily expecting anybody to have an answer to this (and I may have more technical documentation on this mission than is available to many people, and I haven't found the answer yet). But I am curious about the question.

Looking at Chang'e-3 compared to the Lunokhods, the rover is much higher up and has smaller wheels and a smaller wheel base. The Lunokhods did not have a high center of gravity to worry about.

Then again, lookit this:
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: lcs on 12/02/2013 09:48 PM

An interesting and previously-unknown (at least by me) fact: study of the lunar exosphere's disturbance by Chang'e 3's landing is expected to be performed by LADEE. Unforeseen space cooperation between China and the US! :)

You mean in the sense that we will be figuratively, if not literally, eating their dust?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/02/2013 10:24 PM
Some people may be interested in how the United States could respond to the Chang'e-3 mission. Here are some possibilities.

http://thespacereview.com/article/2413/1

Red Moon, Blue Moon
by Dwayne Day
Monday, December 2, 2013

Yesterday China launched Chang’e-3 on its way to the Moon, with landing scheduled for December 14. If it succeeds, it will be the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon in nearly four decades. Although the lander and rover have a modest scientific instrument suite, they are headed for a previously unexplored region of the Moon and will therefore return new and undoubtedly interesting data. Chang’e-3 will not be alone. NASA currently has two spacecraft—Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LADEE—circling the Moon. But although NASA also has several other possible lunar lander missions that it could start building within the next decade, it is unlikely that a NASA spacecraft will join the Chinese on the lunar surface for many years to come.

NASA divides its planetary missions into three classes: flagship (large), New Frontiers (medium), and Discovery (small). The agency uses the planetary science decadal survey to select science goals for the first two categories. But NASA can also fly robotic missions in support of its human space exploration goals, and those missions are chosen by agency officials based upon their perceived requirements. In the past decade, the agency has flown lunar science missions to support the goals of President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration, specifically the goal of sending humans to the Moon. Although the Vision for Space Exploration no longer guides NASA policy, some aspects of that previous policy continue to influence current NASA studies and plans.
Nice article Dwayne... While other nations have a systematic progression in abilities, the U.S. seems to have giant surges and then pulls back resting on its laurels...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/02/2013 11:57 PM
Looking at Chang'e-3 compared to the Lunokhods, the rover is much higher up and has smaller wheels and a smaller wheel base. The Lunokhods did not have a high center of gravity to worry about.

Then again, lookit this:
Thanks for that photo.  I think that it provides an important clue about what China may be planning for future uses of its lander stage.  The Yutu rover seems too small for its lander stage, necessitating the moving ramp arrangement.  Yutu seems to me like a precursor test article - like (a) Pathfinder.  A pathfinder for bigger things.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 12:06 AM
Thanks for that photo.  I think that it provides an important clue about what China may be planning for future uses of its lander stage.  The Yutu rover seems too small for its lander stage, necessitating the moving ramp arrangement.  Yutu seems to me like a precursor test article - like (a) Pathfinder.  A pathfinder for bigger things.

I don't think so. I think that the lander is big so it can support a future sample return mission. There's a lot of logic to proving that out now, with a small rover as the payload.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 12:09 AM
While other nations have a systematic progression in abilities, the U.S. seems to have giant surges and then pulls back resting on its laurels...

I disagree with that. You can probably find where I have posted explanations of the decadal survey before. I think that it provides a great guide for missions that serve a larger purpose. The United States is a mature space power and has a good system for deciding upon science missions.

Now human spaceflight is different. It's less logical and methodical. But the U.S. planetary exploration program over the past several decades, particularly since the mid-1990s, has been a rational and well-planned program. Underfunded, of course...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/03/2013 12:22 AM
While other nations have a systematic progression in abilities, the U.S. seems to have giant surges and then pulls back resting on its laurels...

I disagree with that. You can probably find where I have posted explanations of the decadal survey before. I think that it provides a great guide for missions that serve a larger purpose. The United States is a mature space power and has a good system for deciding upon science missions.

Now human spaceflight is different. It's less logical and methodical. But the U.S. planetary exploration program over the past several decades, particularly since the mid-1990s, has been a rational and well-planned program. Underfunded, of course...
My bad, I should have been more specific in my comment was meant for HSF.  I agree with you with respect  to our probes and landers. They have returned outstanding results and surprising longevity which is a tribute to their designers and constructors...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/03/2013 01:11 AM
Thanks for that photo.  I think that it provides an important clue about what China may be planning for future uses of its lander stage.  The Yutu rover seems too small for its lander stage, necessitating the moving ramp arrangement.  Yutu seems to me like a precursor test article - like (a) Pathfinder.  A pathfinder for bigger things.

I don't think so. I think that the lander is big so it can support a future sample return mission. There's a lot of logic to proving that out now, with a small rover as the payload.
I agree, but also believe that additional payloads are likely.  Luna did big rovers and sample returns.  Why not Chang'e?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: NovaSilisko on 12/03/2013 01:36 AM
I agree, but also believe that additional payloads are likely.  Luna did big rovers and sample returns.  Why not Chang'e?

 - Ed Kyle

That's been my impression from as soon as I saw how big the lander is. It can serve as a general purpose payload delivery vehicle, from a small rover as it's doing now to a sample return rocket. Nice to see design modularity and commonality in these sorts of things!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 01:46 AM
Luna did big rovers and sample returns.  Why not Chang'e?
They have already stated that the same ( or slightly scaled up ) platform will be used for Chang'e-5 and 6, which are sample return missions. However, it will need a bigger carrier rocket, i.e. CZ-5
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/03/2013 02:16 AM
The few articles I've read suggested that the entire sequence is fully automated..
It would have to be fully automated, as you cant rely on radio signal working at the critical moment, however having a fully automated sequence never prevents human overrides - for high level decisions that are not made within milliseconds.
wonder how much time to send/received signals?
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 02:23 AM
I agree, but also believe that additional payloads are likely.  Luna did big rovers and sample returns.  Why not Chang'e?

But here's the question: what would be next? Assume CE-4 is a rover, and CE-5 and 6 are sample return missions. What is there left to do? You pose a big rover. But why? What can a big rover accomplish what the current rover cannot?

A few possible answers: greater mobility, including truly independent operation from the lander. A better instrument suite.

But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.

One possibility is that after CE-6 they lose interest in the robotic exploration of the Moon. At that point they could shift to a human lunar program. Or they could turn to robotic exploration of the solar system, such as Mars.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 02:36 AM
But here's the question: what would be next? Assume CE-4 is a rover, and CE-5 and 6 are sample return missions. What is there left to do?
This thread is diverging very far from Chang'e-3 related things isnt it ?
( What's left : land at polar latitudes, confirm presence of ice, test in-situ resource utilization concepts, find lava tubes, land a telescope on the far side .. the list is long and really subject of a different thread, and many things can fit on a reasonably sized lander platform, especially if you think modular design )
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 02:36 AM
While other nations have a systematic progression in abilities, the U.S. seems to have giant surges and then pulls back resting on its laurels...

I disagree with that. You can probably find where I have posted explanations of the decadal survey before. I think that it provides a great guide for missions that serve a larger purpose. The United States is a mature space power and has a good system for deciding upon science missions.

Now human spaceflight is different. It's less logical and methodical. But the U.S. planetary exploration program over the past several decades, particularly since the mid-1990s, has been a rational and well-planned program. Underfunded, of course...
My bad, I should have been more specific in my comment was meant for HSF.  I agree with you with respect  to our probes and landers. They have returned outstanding results and surprising longevity which is a tribute to their designers and constructors...

But with regards to American planetary science spacecraft, I would not point simply to individual results or longevity. The genius of the program is how methodical and logical it is. It has checked off numerous big questions about the solar system, making substantial progress at developing a better understanding of how it formed and what it is like right now.

For instance, look at NASA's Mars exploration.

Pathfinder/Sojourner-->Mars Global Surveyor-->Mars Climate Orbiter (failed), Mars Polar Lander (failed)-->Mars Odyssey-->Spirit and Opportunity-->Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter-->Phoenix-->Curiosity.

Look at all the missions since Mars Observer conked out in the early 1990s. What you see is an incredible turnaround. NASA altered its plans. Instead of one or two really big missions every couple of decades, they went to a systematic approach, launch window after launch window, building on the results of the last missions, developing new technology along the way, and learning lessons. It's pretty damned amazing when you take it all in.

You can do the same with the rest of the solar system. In the past ten years NASA has put the first spacecraft in orbit around Mars, first in orbit around Mercury, first to orbit an asteroid, plus multiple asteroid and comet missions. A very systematic exploration of the solar system.

It's a pretty amazing success story. There are a few holes. Venus has been largely neglected. The ice giants have not yet been explored. And arguably the Jovian system deserves more attention (not just Europa), which it will get when Juno arrives and then when ESA finally flies their Ganymede mission. But it's a great example of government working, doing things right.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 02:40 AM
And here's where I'll quibble with the real intent of your statement:

While other nations have a systematic progression in abilities, the U.S. seems to have giant surges and then pulls back resting on its laurels...

My bad, I should have been more specific in my comment was meant for HSF.

I'm not sure I'd agree with that characterization either. Note that we operated shuttle for THIRTY YEARS. That was neither a giant surge nor resting on laurels. Similarly, ISS took ten years to construct, and now it is being operated.

Now we can argue specific mistakes, and I think there were many. I don't particularly think that the U.S. approach to the space station--building a giant structure over a decade--was a good idea. But I am disagreeing with your characterization of NASA's human spaceflight program as one of surges and respites. I think it has been much more methodical than that.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 02:44 AM
This thread is diverging very far from Chang'e-3 related things isnt it ?

As long as we're having fun, what's the problem?

( What's left : land at polar latitudes, confirm presence of ice, test in-situ resource utilization concepts, find lava tubes, land a telescope on the far side .. the list is long and really subject of a different thread, and many things can fit on a reasonably sized lander platform, especially if you think modular design )

And I'm going to state my point again:

But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.


If this is all build up for an eventual human program (which the Chinese have not decided upon yet), then that will lead them in a different direction than if this is all part of a long-term lunar science program.

So that then gets to the question about who is setting the goals and priorities for China's lunar robotic program, of which Chang'e-3 is but one part?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: QuantumG on 12/03/2013 02:53 AM
As long as we're having fun, what's the problem?

Sounds good to me.

Quote from: Blackstar
And I'm going to state my point again:

But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.

Some other other possibilities:

* maybe it's just a nice way to employ the kind of people they want employed
* feel good reasons like: all the really good countries are doing it
* whatever the Chinese equivalent of funding in districts is..

Quote from: Blackstar
If this is all build up for an eventual human program (which the Chinese have not decided upon yet), then that will lead them in a different direction than if this is all part of a long-term lunar science program.

So that then gets to the question about who is setting the goals and priorities for China's lunar robotic program, of which Chang'e-3 is but one part?

.. and is it more than just one voice?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 02:59 AM
But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.
IMO these are actually pretty useless questions to ask, and no answers given by the source will ever be believed anyway. What is driving the US space program ? What is driving telerobotic ocean exploration ? Why mess around in the Arctic ? In fact, why do anything costly, dangerous or anything of no immediate economic benefit ?

The honest answer in case of Chinese will be a mix of _everything_ is driving the program, because there are likely thousands of people involved in the program ! Scientists want to do science, policitcians approving the budgets are in it for the national prestige, engineers want to fly cool shit etc etc, same as everywhere, and there is no ultimate secret answer.

But, you can go back and read http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/25141597 , and i selectively quote:
Quote
Ouyang has himself been blunt about this in the past, as here in 2006: "Lunar exploration is a reflection of a country's comprehensive national power," he said in an interview with the official newspaper People's Daily. "It is significant for raising our international prestige and increasing our people's cohesion.
..
He explained that there were three motivations behind the drive to investigate the Moon.

"First, to develop our technology because lunar exploration requires many types of technology, including communications, computers, all kinds of IT skills and the use of different kinds of materials. This is the key reason," he told BBC News.

"Second, in terms of the science, besides Earth we also need to know our brothers and sisters like the Moon, its origin and evolution and then from that we can know about our Earth.

"Third, in terms of the talents, China needs its own intellectual team who can explore the whole lunar and solar system - that is also our main purpose."

But you, me or anyone else here is not going to take these statements at face value anyway, are we ?

I still suggest spin up a separate thread for the discussion thats not specific to Chang'e. There are lots of useful updates and references and nuggets of on topic updates and information in this thread, anyone coming back to find them is going to be annoy.ed
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/03/2013 03:36 AM
The thread's fine (removing a moderator warning). We're in post launch and discussion usually follows.

What we'll do is set up a second update thread tomorrow for specific updates relating to the journey and for landing, allowing this thread to continue as-is, while having a second thread for updates only.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: sdsds on 12/03/2013 03:53 AM
Your autonomous software identifies the primary and backup positions and orientations for landing, and there is a short time window where signal from ground can override the primary selection.
I can totally see doing it that way. Particularly if the propellant budget allows for a bit of hovering during that window. Here's another radical idea: if the propellant budget allows, and the landing takes place at a location where an undetected boulder is problematic, one could imagine a lander hopping to an alternate site (or alternate orientation) before deploying its rover!

Quote
if i recall correctly Russians had many human in the loop triggers for their "automated" sequences back then.

I wish the details of those missions were more a part of our current mission design culture!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 03:58 AM
But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.
IMO these are actually pretty useless questions to ask, and no answers given by the source will ever be believed anyway.

Poppycock. That position is just an excuse to not think about the why, just watch the pretty pictures and talk about rockets. It's like saying "Why? Reasons!"

Somebody sets the policy in the Chinese space program. And they clearly have a policy, both for human spaceflight, and for their lunar robotic program. This stuff just doesn't happen via immaculate conception. Look at the progression from CE-1 to 2 to 3. Increases in technology, capability, and science goals. What's the driver? Is there a roadmap that says "Do X first, followed by Y, followed by Z"? (They must have some kind of roadmap, otherwise they wouldn't be doing X, Y and then Z.) Do they have a science priorities committee that does this? How does the Chinese space program establish their priorities, and what are those priorities? And who is doing it? Who are the officials who are making the call? Just because we don't know the answers now doesn't mean that there are no answers.

For starters, the Chinese Academy of Sciences appears to be involved. That would be a good place to start.

And I'd note that the reason I'm asking these questions is that I'm pretty familiar with how it happens in the United States (being directly involved in it). Over here stuff doesn't "just happen," so my guess is that it doesn't just happen in China either.

Understanding that is a good step to figuring out what they might do after CE-6.



Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/03/2013 04:29 AM

Object B (presumably CZ-3B 3rd stage) catalogued as
39459/ 2013-070B in 358 x 906 km x 22.82° (epoch Dec 1, 1930UTC)

That's answered a question I posed up thread about whether the third stage would be de-orbited or not.

Hmm - do we really think this is the third stage?  The apogee at separation was 389109 km. To lower the apogee
to only 906 km would involve a 3000 m/s retro burn. Given the fuss they made about having to enhance the CZ-3B
to support this mission, it seems unlikely they had that much spare capacity.

Perhaps it is a debris object that came off  during engine restart - the inclination is a bit surprising too (the ground
track does not go back through Xichang, so it must have had a plane change after MECO1?). It does seem to
be associated with the CE-3 mission, but I'm not sure what it is yet.

Will be interesting to see a radar cross section value.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 04:51 AM
Somebody sets the policy in the Chinese space program. And they clearly have a policy, both for human spaceflight, and for their lunar robotic program. This stuff just doesn't happen via immaculate conception.
Policy is never set by a single Somebody unless we are dealing with dictatorship - which China isnt. A good policy decision is a result from inputs of multiple sources ( academia, finance, political leaders, partners etc ) - and it would seem that this is working OK for a Chinese space program.  But i get where your questions are coming from now and yeah - it would be interesting to ask this from someone like Ouyang. Whats the process of defining the policy ?

Quote
Look at the progression from CE-1 to 2 to 3. Increases in technology, capability, and science goals. What's the driver? Is there a roadmap that says "Do X first, followed by Y, followed by Z"? (They must have some kind of roadmap, otherwise they wouldn't be doing X, Y and then Z.)
They have communicated the existing roadmap up to CE-6, and its very much incremental technological capability evolution. From the other side its complemented by whats planned with Tiangong and Shenzhou, and both of these seem to keep them busy for next several years.
Making very long term roadmaps in rapidly evolving technology world is not very useful excercise anyway - i would expect they make further decisions once CE-3 has proven itself.

Quote
Do they have a science priorities committee that does this?
I sincerely hope not.

Quote
How does the Chinese space program establish their priorities, and what are those priorities? And who is doing it? Who are the officials who are making the call? Just because we don't know the answers now doesn't mean that there are no answers.
...Understanding that is a good step to figuring out what they might do after CE-6.
Asking the question - how does your space roadmap and policy definition process really work ? is quite different from asking "why are you doing this ?" IMO. First question is interesting for me, too, second one not so much.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 06:45 AM
And now back to relevant updates, english language interview with Professor Yang Yuguang, from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation
http://english.cntv.cn/program/general_news/20131202/102062.shtml

He again stresses scientific aspects and technology advancements aspects of this mission to the impatient anchor.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/03/2013 06:56 AM
OK, we know that Chang'e 3 is heading for Sinus Iridum, but does anybody know where exactly in Sinus Iridum?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: sdsds on 12/03/2013 07:09 AM
OK, we know that Chang'e 3 is heading for Sinus Iridum, but does anybody know where exactly in Sinus Iridum?

Mark Robinson (Principal Investigator, LROC) speculated the landing site might be near the rim of Laplace A.
http://lunarnetworks.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-great-place-to-rove-sinus-iridum-and.html

He further writes, "Once Chang'e 3 has landed, LROC should be able to spot the lander and the rover; LRO will be above Laplace A on 25 December, 22 January, and 18 February. The LROC team looks forward to posting images of the two vehicles!"
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 12/03/2013 09:21 AM
But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.
IMO these are actually pretty useless questions to ask, and no answers given by the source will ever be believed anyway.

Poppycock. That position is just an excuse to not think about the why, just watch the pretty pictures and talk about rockets. It's like saying "Why? Reasons!"

Somebody sets the policy in the Chinese space program. And they clearly have a policy, both for human spaceflight, and for their lunar robotic program. This stuff just doesn't happen via immaculate conception. Look at the progression from CE-1 to 2 to 3. Increases in technology, capability, and science goals. What's the driver? Is there a roadmap that says "Do X first, followed by Y, followed by Z"? (They must have some kind of roadmap, otherwise they wouldn't be doing X, Y and then Z.) Do they have a science priorities committee that does this? How does the Chinese space program establish their priorities, and what are those priorities? And who is doing it? Who are the officials who are making the call? Just because we don't know the answers now doesn't mean that there are no answers.

For starters, the Chinese Academy of Sciences appears to be involved. That would be a good place to start.

And I'd note that the reason I'm asking these questions is that I'm pretty familiar with how it happens in the United States (being directly involved in it). Over here stuff doesn't "just happen," so my guess is that it doesn't just happen in China either.

Understanding that is a good step to figuring out what they might do after CE-6.

Some history on this, from official Chinese new reports (in Chinese of course)
http://news.163.com/13/1201/00/9EVGR1GO00014JB6.html

Some highlights of the timeline

1. Chinese Lunar Exploration Study group was established in 1991 as part of Project 863 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/863_Program). (That project itself was started in 1986 headed then by Wang Ganchang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kan-Chang_Wang) to found technology and science programs in China)
2. The Study group submitted its conclusions as a feasibility study to the State Council in 1994
3. Lunar Resource, Exploration and Scientific study group was established in 1998 to come up with a detailed plan of lunar exploration in 2000. 《中国月球资源探测卫星科学目标》From the official "leaks" since, we know the following: The plan sets 3 large phases, with each phase containing 3 major phase. The Large phase are “探” (Probe or Unmanned exploration)、“登” (Walk, or manned exploration)、“驻(住)” (Stay, or Moon base).  The first 3 little phase plan, later would become CE1 to CE6.
4. In 2000, parts of the plan was published as part of the 2006 white paper on Chinese Space exploration. You can read it here in English.
http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/china/wp2006.pdf
5. Between 2000 and 2004, a series of working group was established on specific goals, instructions, vehicles etc. And submitted a formal space program for approval.
6. The program was approved in 2004, and formally named Chang'e and CLEP was established.
7. CE1 completed in 2006, with CE2 starting work in 2006. CE1 launched in 2007, CE2 in 2010
8. CE3 Started work in 2009, and launched in 2013

So the whole thing took 10 years to plan it, without funding to launching a single thing. That's a lot of time to figure out why, how and when. Would love to read the internal memos.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:00 AM
Finally got some good introduction materials about the science instruments on the lander and rovers! Here is the list of institutes involved in the development and operation of the instruments:

Lander

* MastCam: Institute of Optics and Electronics (IOE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
* Descent Camera: Beijing Institute of Space Machinery and Electricity (BISME), China Academy of Space Technology (CAST)
* Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT): National Astronomy Observatory of China (NAOC), CAS
* Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUV): Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP), CAS

Rover

* PanCam: Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics (OPT), CAS
* Ground Penetration Radar (GPM): Institute of Electronics, CAS
* VIS/NIR Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS): Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics (SITP), CAS
* Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS): Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), CAS

The payload control systems on both the lander and rover are both built by the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization of CAS.

Detailed information on the individual instruments will come very soon...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:25 AM
MastCam

Objectives: Acquisition of landing area optical photographs for surveying the terrain and geological features of the landing zone.

Position: On top of the mast of the lander

Features:

* Acquisition of landing zone photographs
* Monitor the movement of rover on the lunar surface
* With multi-color imaging ability
* Can shoot both photographs and videos
* Can tweak focusing automatically
* With ability to minimize scattered lights and image compression

Major sub-systems: Optical system, Mechanical system


Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:26 AM
Descent Camera

Objectives: Acquisition of landing area optical photographs for surveying the terrain and geological features of the landing zone at altitudes between 2-4 km.

Position: At the bottom of the lander

Features:

* Highly miniaturized design; light weight, small volume, low energy consumption, high performance
* Can withstand high levels of radiation, temperature difference and violent vibrations at launch
* CMOS sensor used
* High-speed static grey-scale image compression used
* Has automatic focusing

Major sub-systems: Optical system, Imagery receiving and processing electric box
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:26 AM
Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT)

Objectives: Making use of the absence of atmosphere and slow rotation of the Moon to observe selected variable celestial objects and sky areas in the near ultraviolet region.

Position: -Y side of the lander

Features:


* First ever astronomical observation made from surface of other planetary objects for prolonged periods
* Highly automated; can aim and point to various targets with the telescope mount automatically
* Light weight achieved via using composite materials and structure optimization
* Highly adaptable to the lunar surface environment; can operate between -20 and 40 degrees Celsius

Major sub-systems: Telescope body and frame (left); reflector lens and telescope mount (right), electric cable mount and control systems
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:26 AM
Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUV)

Objectives: Imagery of the Earth's ionosphere in the extreme ultraviolet region; investigations into space weather forecasting and ionosphere studies

Position: Top side of the lander

Features:

* Can track Earth automatically; will perform long term imagery monitoring of scattered extreme ultraviolet radiation from the Earth's ionosphere
* Operational wavelength is 30.4 nm (about 1/20 of visible light)
* FOV 15 degrees (region covers about 7.5 Earths)
* Can operate between -25 and 75 degrees Celsius; has ability to survive and operate in the highly variable thermal environment of the lunar surface
* First extreme ultraviolet camera operating from the lunar surface

Major sub-systems: Extreme ultraviolet multi-membrane optical imagery system; Extreme ultraviolet photon counter sensor; Signal processing unit; Pointing control system; Main control unit
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:27 AM
PanCam

Objectives:
Acquire 3-D imagery of the lunar surface for surveying the terrain, geological features and structures, and craters inside the target region. Also monitors the operational state of the lander.

Position:
Top of the mast of the rover

Features:

* Uses simplified optical system and highly miniaturized design, making the cameras light-weight, small volume, low energy consuming and highly reliable
* Can operate between -25 and 55 degrees Celsius and able to survive between -40 and 75 degrees Celsius
* Focusing operational between 3m and infinity
* Have both automatic and manual focusing; can automatically adjust the field brightness

Major sub-systems: Twin PanCams (A & B), each with one optical system, mechanical system, electronics and thermal control parts
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:28 AM
Ground Penetration Radar (GPM)

Objectives: Measure lunar soil depth and structural distribution of soil, magma, lava tubes and sub-surface rock layers 

Position: Inside the rover

Features:

* Channel I operates at 60MHz - for probing sub-surface geological features down to meter-level resolution; maximum depth >100 m
* Channel II operates at 500MHz - for probing lunar soil depth with resolution better than 30 cm; maximum depth >30 m
* The antennas can survive temperatures of -200 to 120 degrees Celsius
* Miniaturized design, low energy consumption, high performance (the pictures on the left side are the results of testing the two radar channels at the Laohugou #12 glacier in Gansu province)

Major sub-systems: Radar controller, channel I/II antennas and transmitter, electric cables etc. (right side from top to bottom: channel I transmitter, channel II transmitter, channel II antenna, channel I antenna)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:28 AM
VIS/NIR Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS)

Objectives: Measure the composition and resources of the lunar surface via imaging and spectrometry in the visible and near-infrared wavelengths

Position: Beneath the rover's top deck

Features:

* Utilizes RF-driven tunable light & ultrasound spectrometry
* Utilizes new design ultrasound generators
* Have anti-dust accumulation and in-orbit calibration functions
* Miniaturized design, light weight, high performance (photos on the right are the sample spectra and photos of Labradorite simulated moon soil, quartz crystals and LLB simulated moon soil)

Major sub-systems:   Tunable light & ultrasound spectrometer optical system, ultrasound-driven target guiding, dust repelling and thermal control components, composite outer case, main control system and data processing module
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 10:28 AM
Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS)

Objectives: Measure the composition and distribution of various elements on the lunar surface via observing the scattered X-rays from the bombardment of alpha particles of rocks

Position: On the rover's robotic arm

Features:

* Includes active particle scattering, in-situ determination of lunar surface element, in-orbit calibration and distance measurement functions
* The sensor can re-calibrate itself through the use of standard calibration targets
* Rover's lunar night survival contains a radioisotope heater unit (RHU) for keeping the sensor warm
* Low energy consumption, light weight, high resolution and high sensitivity semi-conductor sensor used

Major sub-systems: (from left to right) sensor, RHU, calibration target
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 01:15 PM
The 2nd mid-course correction burn should have occurred at 08:20 UTC, but nothing has been reported till right now. I'm hoping that this is not an indication of a problem....  :-\
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/03/2013 02:00 PM
China news reporting debris hit 2 houses, no injuries reported so far.

http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 02:10 PM
China news reporting debris hit 2 houses, no injuries reported so far.

http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml)

The owner of the houses were reported to have received compensations of $1770 US (the one photographed above) and $ 850 US respectively.  :-\ http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=275684 (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=275684)

BTW any news reported from ESA about the 2nd mid-course correction? There are rumors that there might be a problem during the burn (as indicated by the lack of news till now)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/03/2013 02:19 PM
China news reporting debris hit 2 houses, no injuries reported so far.

http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml)
Wow, that’s going to make a great wok! :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/03/2013 02:21 PM
I'll ask about the mid-course correction (if I can reach somebody) currently next contact for ESA Kourou station is tomorrow
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: gwiz on 12/03/2013 02:41 PM
The 2nd mid-course correction burn should have occurred at 08:20 UTC, but nothing has been reported till right now. I'm hoping that this is not an indication of a problem....  :-\
With any luck, the first correction was so good that the second wasn't needed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: robertross on 12/03/2013 02:51 PM
China news reporting debris hit 2 houses, no injuries reported so far.

http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml)

A favourite quote from the movie Twister: "Debris?!!"
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/03/2013 02:53 PM
China news reporting debris hit 2 houses, no injuries reported so far.

http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml)
These are debris from the first stage which fell in Suining County, in WawuTang village (265357N1102049E) in Hunan province.
This County is used to receiving such debris (fortunately rarely on houses!)
As usual there were no NOTAM for the 1st stage drop zone.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jcm on 12/03/2013 03:07 PM
But that brings us back to some very fundamental questions, such as what is driving the Chinese lunar program. Is it primarily science? Or is it primarily developing engineering capability? Or is it a near equal mix of both? I would not simply assume that they want to go bigger and bigger, not until we have an idea of why they are doing any of this.
IMO these are actually pretty useless questions to ask, and no answers given by the source will ever be believed anyway.

Poppycock. That position is just an excuse to not think about the why, just watch the pretty pictures and talk about rockets. It's like saying "Why? Reasons!"

Somebody sets the policy in the Chinese space program. And they clearly have a policy, both for human spaceflight, and for their lunar robotic program. This stuff just doesn't happen via immaculate conception. Look at the progression from CE-1 to 2 to 3. Increases in technology, capability, and science goals. What's the driver? Is there a roadmap that says "Do X first, followed by Y, followed by Z"? (They must have some kind of roadmap, otherwise they wouldn't be doing X, Y and then Z.) Do they have a science priorities committee that does this? How does the Chinese space program establish their priorities, and what are those priorities? And who is doing it? Who are the officials who are making the call? Just because we don't know the answers now doesn't mean that there are no answers.

For starters, the Chinese Academy of Sciences appears to be involved. That would be a good place to start.

And I'd note that the reason I'm asking these questions is that I'm pretty familiar with how it happens in the United States (being directly involved in it). Over here stuff doesn't "just happen," so my guess is that it doesn't just happen in China either.

Understanding that is a good step to figuring out what they might do after CE-6.

Some history on this, from official Chinese new reports (in Chinese of course)
http://news.163.com/13/1201/00/9EVGR1GO00014JB6.html

Some highlights of the timeline

1. Chinese Lunar Exploration Study group was established in 1991 as part of Project 863 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/863_Program). (That project itself was started in 1986 headed then by Wang Ganchang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kan-Chang_Wang) to found technology and science programs in China)
2. The Study group submitted its conclusions as a feasibility study to the State Council in 1994
3. Lunar Resource, Exploration and Scientific study group was established in 1998 to come up with a detailed plan of lunar exploration in 2000. 《中国月球资源探测卫星科学目标》From the official "leaks" since, we know the following: The plan sets 3 large phases, with each phase containing 3 major phase. The Large phase are “探” (Probe or Unmanned exploration)、“登” (Walk, or manned exploration)、“驻(住)” (Stay, or Moon base).  The first 3 little phase plan, later would become CE1 to CE6.
4. In 2000, parts of the plan was published as part of the 2006 white paper on Chinese Space exploration. You can read it here in English.
http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/china/wp2006.pdf
5. Between 2000 and 2004, a series of working group was established on specific goals, instructions, vehicles etc. And submitted a formal space program for approval.
6. The program was approved in 2004, and formally named Chang'e and CLEP was established.
7. CE1 completed in 2006, with CE2 starting work in 2006. CE1 launched in 2007, CE2 in 2010
8. CE3 Started work in 2009, and launched in 2013

So the whole thing took 10 years to plan it, without funding to launching a single thing. That's a lot of time to figure out why, how and when. Would love to read the internal memos.

Very interesting. CLEP is formally part of CNSA, correct?   And formally CNSA-CLEP is the equivalent of the NASA project-management center, and CAST (I assume) has the role of contractor? Or is it still more like the Russian system where the "contractor" does almost everything, with CNSA being a very thin layer? Not very well expressed but hopefully you get what I'm asking.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/03/2013 03:36 PM
Fairing debris were recovered near Yangfen village (260810N1141906E) Jiangxi province within the announced NOTAMed drop zone
(source (http://it.21cn.com/discovery/a/2013/1203/08/25317523.shtml))
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 03:50 PM
Detailed information on the individual instruments will come very soon...
Thanks ! Seeing as you get information close from there - i gathered from some reports and badly translated comments that there were two competing rover designs by two different institutes, both built to advanced stage. Thats probably the reason why animations and illustrations show different versions, too. Any confirmation on that ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Comga on 12/03/2013 04:08 PM
Fairing debris were recovered near Yangfen village (260810N1141906E) Jiangxi province within the announced NOTAMed drop zone
(source (http://it.21cn.com/discovery/a/2013/1203/08/25317523.shtml))

Interesting looking at the fairing debris
The fairing piece is remarkably intact for something that fell so far and started the fall at such a high speed.
There does not appear to be any accoustic dampening features, as are on the inside of the Atlas V fairings.
Any idea of the function of the three red cylinders on the left in the upper photo?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 04:24 PM
Somebody sets the policy in the Chinese space program. And they clearly have a policy, both for human spaceflight, and for their lunar robotic program. This stuff just doesn't happen via immaculate conception.
Policy is never set by a single Somebody unless we are dealing with dictatorship - which China isnt. A good policy decision is a result from inputs of multiple sources ( academia, finance, political leaders, partners etc ) - and it would seem that this is working OK for a Chinese space program.  But i get where

Well, by "somebody" I mean a plurality. People. Committees. Organizations. And even in dictatorships decisions are made by more than one person (that's where henchmen and minions come in).

Making very long term roadmaps in rapidly evolving technology world is not very useful excercise anyway - i would expect they make further decisions once CE-3 has proven itself.

Roadmap is a somewhat generic, shorthand term. There's a process. There's a plan. Roadmaps, at least as they are frequently done by NASA (and they can be done in many different ways) usually have things designated off-ramps and on-ramps. An off-ramp is a point where you decide to abandon something or cancel a project because you're not making progress. So with a long-term roadmap, you might designate a point where you say something like "If we do not get technology X to work by this point, we cancel the project." An on-ramp is where you might add a mission or a technology or something that comes along. You might have an R&D project to develop something like a solar sail. It is not part of your long-term roadmap for exploring Mars, but you might put something into the roadmap that says "If we successfully demonstrate the solar sail by this point, we use that instead of chemical propulsion."

Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said "I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."

>>>>Do they have a science priorities committee that does this?

I sincerely hope not.

The United States has one. ESA has one. I believe that the Indians do too. It would be ridiculous if the Chinese did not.


Asking the question - how does your space roadmap and policy definition process really work ? is quite different from asking "why are you doing this ?" IMO. First question is interesting for me, too, second one not so much.

I think the "why" is a very important question, because one of the possible answers for "why are they doing this?" is "because they want to send humans to the Moon."

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 04:26 PM
Some history on this, from official Chinese new reports (in Chinese of course)
http://news.163.com/13/1201/00/9EVGR1GO00014JB6.html

Some highlights of the timeline

1. Chinese Lunar Exploration Study group was established in 1991 as part of Project 863 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/863_Program). (That project itself was started in 1986 headed then by Wang Ganchang (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kan-Chang_Wang) to found technology and science programs in China)
2. The Study group submitted its conclusions as a feasibility study to the State Council in 1994
3. Lunar Resource, Exploration and Scientific study group was established in 1998 to come up with a detailed plan of lunar exploration in 2000. 《中国月球资源探测卫星科学目标》From the official "leaks" since, we know the following: The plan sets 3 large phases, with each phase containing 3 major phase. The Large phase are “探” (Probe or Unmanned exploration)、“登” (Walk, or manned exploration)、“驻(住)” (Stay, or Moon base).  The first 3 little phase plan, later would become CE1 to CE6.
4. In 2000, parts of the plan was published as part of the 2006 white paper on Chinese Space exploration. You can read it here in English.
http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/china/wp2006.pdf
5. Between 2000 and 2004, a series of working group was established on specific goals, instructions, vehicles etc. And submitted a formal space program for approval.
6. The program was approved in 2004, and formally named Chang'e and CLEP was established.
7. CE1 completed in 2006, with CE2 starting work in 2006. CE1 launched in 2007, CE2 in 2010
8. CE3 Started work in 2009, and launched in 2013

So the whole thing took 10 years to plan it, without funding to launching a single thing. That's a lot of time to figure out why, how and when. Would love to read the internal memos.

Thank you. That's exactly what I suspected existed. Obviously there's a plan somewhere, and there's a group or groups that developed it. Knowing the plan and the people behind it can provide information on what their next missions may be.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Lar on 12/03/2013 04:42 PM
Asking the question - how does your space roadmap and policy definition process really work ? is quite different from asking "why are you doing this ?" IMO. First question is interesting for me, too, second one not so much.

I think the "why" is a very important question, because one of the possible answers for "why are they doing this?" is "because they want to send humans to the Moon."

Which just begets another "why" ... is it flags and footprints delux (phase two "walk" and phase three base just being delux F&F) or is it something more?

Completely uninformed speculation on my part is that it is something more than just F&F... Economic exploitation of the resources, construction of an industrial base for further economic growth, and taking and holding the high ground. (position atop the Earth's gravity well)... possession and exploitation being the legal way to de facto sovereignty.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/03/2013 04:51 PM
I think the "why" is a very important question, because one of the possible answers for "why are they doing this?" is "because they want to send humans to the Moon."
Various officials from both Chinese program tracks ( Lunar and manned orbital ) have repeatedly noted that this is one of the long term aspirations but no concrete decisions have been made on this, the planning cycle and prerequisite tech development probably just isn't far enough yet. "Knowing the plan" - they have communicated the plan, the parts of it that is solid, with a multi-year horizon. Their planning cycle is 5 years. I'm not sure there is more to know there.
Getting to know the key people involved more closely, doing some investigative space journalism in China etc would be all very welcome as it has been woefully neglected and a lot of reporting in western media has been guesswork and poor second hand translations. However, just like with NASA and other space agencies you can probably get aspirational mission plans, proposals and ideas, but not concrete well defined roadmaps  - before these roadmaps are committed to and funded.

Quote
Completely uninformed speculation on my part is that it is something more than just F&F... Economic exploitation of the resources
Again, all these long term aspirations have been mentioned by various chinese space program officials and scientist on multiple occasions, but they are aspirations, not defined roadmaps and committed missions - which makes total sense. Walk before you try to run.
There is a bunch of pre- and post- launch interviews and talks available here with various officials, go read them
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/change3/
http://www.globaltimes.cn/SPECIALCOVERAGE/Change3.aspx
http://english.cntv.cn/special/lunarmission/index.shtml

Not sure why people are so hung up on some "behind the scenes ulterior motive" like "gaining the high ground in space". I'm sure there are steely eyed missile men also in China, like everywhere else that dream about lazors with sharks on the moon, but this doesn't mean that majority of scientists and engineers working on the program and delivering these current accomplishments have a secret handshake and do an evil laugh every morning when they go to work.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/03/2013 04:57 PM
Completely uninformed speculation on my part is that it is something more than just F&F... Economic exploitation of the resources, construction of an industrial base for further economic growth, and taking and holding the high ground. (position atop the Earth's gravity well)... possession and exploitation being the legal way to de facto sovereignty.

I agree. But I would also add the more generic "interest in science." Countries spend money on basic science because it's something they do. Now there are tendrils that connect that to other things, like education and supporting an industrial base. But it is a factor on its own.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Lar on 12/03/2013 06:23 PM
Not sure why people are so hung up on some "behind the scenes ulterior motive" like "gaining the high ground in space". I'm sure there are steely eyed missile men also in China, like everywhere else that dream about lazors with sharks on the moon, but this doesn't mean that majority of scientists and engineers working on the program and delivering these current accomplishments have a secret handshake and do an evil laugh every morning when they go to work.
I don't think that wanting the best for your country, including securing a big slice of a new frontier as it opens up, requires an evil laugh and a secret handshake.

Rather, I expect that many folk in China are thinking through what China's growing economic power implies (in the sense of possibilities opening up) and are planning accordingly. That in and of itself does not make them evil. Just patriotic.  When America was ascendant we did the same.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/04/2013 01:54 AM
China news reporting debris hit 2 houses, no injuries reported so far.

http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml (http://www.chinanews.com/tp/hd2011/2013/12-03/272452.shtml)

English version of the story
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/829644.shtml

Also confirming the 160 000 evacuation
Quote
By 3:00 pm on Sunday, over 160,000 people living in 11 townships of the county were evacuated to avoid danger from falling rocket pieces, Zeng said.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 12/04/2013 02:39 AM

Very interesting. CLEP is formally part of CNSA, correct?   And formally CNSA-CLEP is the equivalent of the NASA project-management center, and CAST (I assume) has the role of contractor? Or is it still more like the Russian system where the "contractor" does almost everything, with CNSA being a very thin layer? Not very well expressed but hopefully you get what I'm asking.
I don't know enough about Russian to comment, but there is what I know:

CAST does pretty much everything, CNSA is mostly for coordination. However CNSA does have it's own engineering teams that manages CAST, such example  CLEP for Chang'e program and Gaofen team for the Gaofen program. (Interestingly CNSA doesn't have a team for the Shengzhou program). Both CNSA and CAST are under SASTIND by the way. (While SASTIND itself is under the enormously bloated, and obscenely powerful MIIT. Everything from media censorship to space program to nuclear weapon research to clean air vehicle to high speed trainsets to patent disputes between tech companies are all under the direction of MIIT...)

This is CNSA's Mission on it's on website

Quote
中国国家航天局是中华人民共和国负责民用航天管理及国际空间合作的政府机构,履行政府相应的管理职责。对航天活动实施行业管理,使其稳定、有序、健康、协调地发展。代表中国政府组织或领导开展航天领域对外交流与合作等活动。

Google translate

Quote
People's Republic of China National Space Administration is the government agency responsible for civil aerospace management and international cooperation in space, corresponding to fulfill the government's management responsibilities. Space activities for the implementation of the industry, making it stable, orderly, healthy and coordinated development. On behalf of the Chinese government, organization or leadership to carry out exchanges and cooperation activities in areas such as aerospace
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/04/2013 02:45 AM
Both CNSA and CAST are under SASTIND by the way. (Which under the enormously bloated, and obscenely powerful MIIT)
Thanks, these keywords led me to this book btw :
https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=MXNDAAAAQBAJ&source=productsearch&utm_source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1

http://www.amazon.com/Chinas-Strategy-Space-SpringerBriefs-Development/dp/146146689X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386128811&sr=1-1

Seems to answer a lot of these questions
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 12/04/2013 03:45 AM
That is a expensive book...  :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: mlindner on 12/04/2013 03:54 AM
That is a expensive book...  :(

$47.25 for a textbook? That's honestly pretty cheap. I've paid close to $200 for a textbook before for a class.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 12/04/2013 04:20 AM
Well, considering everything on there is open information only a Google or Baidu away... From what I read in the table of Contents, it don't seems to have a whole lot of depth, and probably just a summary and translation of various white papers MIIT publishes every couple of years.

Speaking of MIIT white papers, this the master roadmap from 2009 white paper

(http://scitech.people.com.cn/mediafile/200906/11/F200906110815113183224378.jpg)

Highlights in English:
2010 - 2020
aim for basic scientific mission on multiple fronts.  (Chang'e Program going very well, Kuafu program was delayed, Yinghuo program so far has failed, HXMT launching next year or so.)
Moon sample return (not done)
master deep space flight and tracking (somewhat done with CE2)
basic deep space communication network  (somewhat done with Tianlian, new tracking ships and new ground stations)
basic space station  (done)

2020 - 2030
Aim for 2-3 scientific missions per year
Moon landing (Manned)
Mars Probe
master deep space autonomous flight
high speed deep space communication network
continuously occupied station station

2030-2050
Aim for "disruptive and fundamental" research in basic science (Don't know you can plan for this sort of thing though. But it does mean Chinese will be willing fund expensive science programs by then)
Probe beyond inner solar system (Chinese Voyeger?)
Permanent station on the moon
Leading position in space based observation
Leading position in deep space autonomous flight
Mars Landing (Manned)
Solar system wide communication network

[Perhaps we should move all the posts about Chinese long term plans to a separate post (but not lost in the Chinese space program thread), there are lots of open information available, just all in Chinese.]
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/04/2013 04:22 AM
Yea for a very up to date and in depth material from an author that seems to have a long publishing history ( she is cited a lot ) on the subject, i dont think $40 for the Kindle edition is too much, plus googleplay lets you rent the book for $20.

Quote
there are lots of open information available, just all in Chinese
Thats exactly the problem.

I have often thought how a large percentage of Chinese ( and also Korean, Japanese ) researchers, engineers and scientists can easily use massive amounts of openly available literature and research published everywhere in English, but there has to be a minuscule percentage of western population that can read theirs. And thats not a value or judgement statement, its just the way it is.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/04/2013 04:57 AM
I hope this is OK to post. This is a "plan" that was published in a 2010 Chinese paper. The first thread is LEO crewed flight, the second thread is robotic Lunar missions (including the Chang'e orbiter, rover and sample return missions), the third thread is crewed Lunar landings and the fourth thread is the launch vehicle and a propulsive stage. Interestingly, there is an arrow from the sample return mission to the crewed Lunar mission, perhaps indicating that a crewed mission would rendezvous with the samples in Lunar orbit to return them to Earth. If anyone can provide a translated version of this chart, that would be appreciated.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 12/04/2013 05:18 AM
I hope this is OK to post. This is a "plan" that was published in a 2010 Chinese paper. The first thread is LEO crewed flight, the second thread is robotic Lunar missions (including the Chang'e orbiter, rover and sample return missions), the third thread is crewed Lunar landings and the fourth thread is the launch vehicle and a propulsive stage. Interestingly, there is an arrow from the sample return mission to the crewed Lunar mission, perhaps indicating that a crewed mission would rendezvous with the samples in Lunar orbit to return them to Earth. If anyone can provide a translated version of this chart, that would be appreciated.

Top Arrow
EVA - Space Lab - Space Station ---> Continuous operation

Second Arrow (This is the three small step in the first of three large steps)
Orbit Moon - First Landing - Second Landing - Sample return
Third Arrow (This is the three small step in the second of three large steps)
Moon Orbit Lab - Moon Orbit Rendezvous (merge with sample return) - moon landing

Platform Arrows
Core Rocket Design
Advanced Upper Stage Design
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/04/2013 08:05 AM
No update on the burn, but next ESA AOS is at 14:10 CET today
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: heinkel174 on 12/04/2013 12:22 PM
I don't know enough about Russian to comment, but there is what I know:

CAST does pretty much everything, CNSA is mostly for coordination. However CNSA does have it's own engineering teams that manages CAST, such example  CLEP for Chang'e program and Gaofen team for the Gaofen program. (Interestingly CNSA doesn't have a team for the Shengzhou program). Both CNSA and CAST are under SASTIND by the way. (While SASTIND itself is under the enormously bloated, and obscenely powerful MIIT. Everything from media censorship to space program to nuclear weapon research to clean air vehicle to high speed trainsets to patent disputes between tech companies are all under the direction of MIIT...)


You're taking these googled information at face value. With all due respect, this shows your total ignorance of how the Chinese government is organized.

I don’t want to elaborate cause it really OP, so simply put, it’s laughable to assume any Chinese ministry been ‘powerful’. Are you aware that Chinese ministers are just junior members of the CCP central committee? This makes them ranked 50~200th in the power hierarchy. Ministers cannot even attend the executive meeting of the state council, they just took orders and execute. People call it a highly centralized government for a reason.

Have you ever heard of various ‘中央/国家XX工作领导小组’(Central XX commissions of the communist party/the state)? These are the real decision-making bodies for each executive branch. All of these commissions are led by a politburo member. A few important ones are led by the general secretary himself.

So back to the topic, the civilian space program is actually led by the国家科教领导小组/State Science and Education Commission, which is chaired by the PM, with one of the State Commissioners (de facto vice PM sans full politburo membership) being the executive deputy. Needless to say, the PM is No.2; the State Commissioner usually ranks 20-30th in the CCP central committee, a much more appropriate position for the power he/she processes.

Its subordinace to MIIT is pure notional. How could the minister of MIIT, himself a 80th+ ranked member of the central committee, been assigned such a vast array of vital responsibilities? Because he is not. Meanwhile the real importance decisions such as manned spaceflight and nuclear weapon research are made by the true top brass —— 中央专委/Special Committee of the Communist Party.

By the way, CAST is not a subordinate of MIITor SASTIND. Like most state-owned gigantic companies, it is managed fiscally by the国务院国资委/ State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, while top personnel appointments and disciplinary actions are made by 国务院党组(State Council Party Leadership Group) as per the principle of 党管干部 (party controls personnel administration at every level).

Sorry for posting the vastly off-topic stuff in a live thread. May I ask the admin to move all the irrelevant posts to the Chinese section?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/04/2013 12:26 PM
Contact confirmed via estrack Kourou station at 14:00:19 CET
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Danderman on 12/04/2013 06:32 PM
Sometimes it is useful to consider USSTRATCOM  data as a "suggestion".
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: apace on 12/05/2013 10:24 AM
Picture I found:
Luojie, China Daily, China/Cagle.com
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Svetoslav on 12/05/2013 11:40 AM
An update: Apparently Chang'e 3 is working well. December 3 correction, that everyone was asking, has been completed successfully. A third correction isn't needed.


http://www.readdailynews.com/news-5952303-Chang-E-III-has-flown-nearly-350000-kilometers-without-3rd-halfway-correction.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/05/2013 03:56 PM
Phew, they went very quiet for a while there.

I wonder if ESA tracking is able to interpret the basic telemetry data or is it opaque data stream to be forwarded to Beijing for them ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: lcs on 12/06/2013 12:29 AM
So Spaceflight 101 said the LOI was on Dec 6 at 2:30 UTC.  More recently Zarya says 9:30 UT  based on 112 hour flight time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 02:18 AM
So Spaceflight 101 said the LOI was on Dec 6 at 2:30 UTC.  More recently Zarya says 9:30 UT  based on 112 hour flight time.

Chinese reports are now reporting that LOI will happen "this evening" local time, which fits more with Zarya's version.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 12/06/2013 02:20 AM
Guessing the Chang’e-3 trajectory [Where is Chang'e-3 now]: http://astrogatorsguild.com/?p=1122 by Mike Loucks, one of the LADEE navigators, uses available public info to see whether he can come up with a trajectory that makes sense (spoiler: he can). He uses the 9:30 UTC time for LOI, referring to Zarya.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: yzcbuaa on 12/06/2013 03:30 AM
I think there is a translation error in this report.  it should be "7500 newton" instead of cattle cow
An update: Apparently Chang'e 3 is working well. December 3 correction, that everyone was asking, has been completed successfully. A third correction isn't needed.


http://www.readdailynews.com/news-5952303-Chang-E-III-has-flown-nearly-350000-kilometers-without-3rd-halfway-correction.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: elakdawalla on 12/06/2013 03:55 AM
There are lots of funny mis-translations like that in Google, especially for Chinese and Japanese (I remember Hayabusa's name was always translated by Google as "It is quick the").

There is a word, “落月” that keeps showing up in Google translations as "sangrakwol", which is meaningless. Can anyone say what this actually means in the context of Chang'e? It is found in the second paragraph of this article: http://tech.sina.com.cn/d/2013-12-02/02398965861.shtml
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 04:02 AM
There are lots of funny mis-translations like that in Google, especially for Chinese and Japanese (I remember Hayabusa's name was always translated by Google as "It is quick the").

There is a word, “落月” that keeps showing up in Google translations as "sangrakwol", which is meaningless. Can anyone say what this actually means in the context of Chang'e? It is found in the second paragraph of this article: http://tech.sina.com.cn/d/2013-12-02/02398965861.shtml

A literal translation is "descend to the Moon", so it means lunar landing.  :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 06:59 AM
Latest news!  ;D

http://bjrb.bjd.com.cn/html/2013-12/02/content_130362.htm (http://bjrb.bjd.com.cn/html/2013-12/02/content_130362.htm)

LOI burn planned in just under 2 hours from now, at 09:50 UTC.

Lunar landing is planned at 15:22-15:35 UTC on December 14.

The rover should be deployed from the lander at 20:38-22:21 UTC on the same day. Then some time within the communication window on December 15 at 07:21-15:38 UTC, the lander and rover will photograph each other and sing Moon River together during dating.  ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/06/2013 09:04 AM
Waiting for news on the lunar orbit insertion, which should have happened by now...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Liss on 12/06/2013 09:07 AM
CCTV13 reports from Beijing MCC and 9ifly says braking was successful.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Nighthawk on 12/06/2013 09:13 AM
The retro burn of the main engine lasted for ca. 360s and the probe was successfully captured by lunar gravity. (via CCTV news). The lunar orbit is a circular orbit 100km above surface, without any temporary elliptical orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 09:19 AM
LOI was completed at 09:47 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Jester on 12/06/2013 09:39 AM
LOI was completed at 09:47 UTC.

other sources quote 09:53 ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 09:40 AM
LOI was completed at 09:47 UTC.

other sources quote 09:53 ?

Maybe that means that the burn was 09:47-09:53 UTC since the LOI burn was reported to be 360 seconds long.  ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/07/2013 04:31 AM
Has a selenocentric orbit inclination been quoted anywhere, please?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/07/2013 04:33 AM
Has a selenocentric orbit inclination been quoted anywhere, please?

I have seen quotes of a 90 degrees inclination orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/07/2013 05:45 AM
By the way, I have finished translating the introduction materials of all the 8 science instruments that I have posted 2 days ago - please read from here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg1127307#msg1127307) for the details.  :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: luhai167 on 12/07/2013 07:01 AM
There are lots of funny mis-translations like that in Google, especially for Chinese and Japanese (I remember Hayabusa's name was always translated by Google as "It is quick the").

There is a word, “落月” that keeps showing up in Google translations as "sangrakwol", which is meaningless. Can anyone say what this actually means in the context of Chang'e? It is found in the second paragraph of this article: http://tech.sina.com.cn/d/2013-12-02/02398965861.shtml

It just means decent on the moon.

The reason Google translate uses sangrakwol is because it's name used by a comic that has the name 落月 in it. Google uses information on the internet to build language models, so in this case comic book title trumps common sense.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/sangrakwol-arena-Paperback-Chinese-Edition/dp/7537831351
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Satori on 12/07/2013 08:43 AM
By the way, I have finished translating the introduction materials of all the 8 science instruments that I have posted 2 days ago - please read from here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg1127307#msg1127307) for the details.  :D

Very good job! Thank you!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/07/2013 09:42 AM
By the way, I have finished translating the introduction materials of all the 8 science instruments that I have posted 2 days ago - please read from here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg1127307#msg1127307) for the details.  :D

Very good job! Thank you!!!

And I have found the original document....  (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12923-1-1.html)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/07/2013 12:43 PM
Rover deployment.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: baldusi on 12/07/2013 01:23 PM
Weird system. It doesn't seems very tolerable to boulders and such.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: TJL on 12/07/2013 02:01 PM
LOI was completed at 09:47 UTC.

other sources quote 09:53 ?

Maybe that means that the burn was 09:47-09:53 UTC since the LOI burn was reported to be 360 seconds long.  ;)

LOI burn for Apollo was almost identical...5 min, 58 seconds (Apollo 12).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: seawolfe on 12/08/2013 01:07 PM
Are there any further news releases about their progress with their orbital descent phasing?  I was looking for the approximate date of the expected landing but must have missed it (even in the original article...could have skimmed over that).  Can this be updated?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/08/2013 01:09 PM
Are there any further news releases about their progress with their orbital descent phasing?  I was looking for the approximate date of the expected landing but must have missed it (even in the original article...could have skimmed over that).  Can this be updated?

The orbit will be lowered to 15 x 100 km on December 10 (not sure about the time). Landing is expected on December 14 at ~15:30 UTC (~7:30 am PST).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/08/2013 01:28 PM
Rover deployment.

Rover seems to have a high center of gravity.  Do the wheels spread apart?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/08/2013 02:29 PM
Rover deployment.

Rover seems to have a high center of gravity.  Do the wheels spread apart?

I don't think so. The configuration seem typical of large off road all-wheel drive trucks and wheeled armored fighting vehicles.

I believe the front wheel on the separate running gear assembly on each side of the vehicle can be articulated so the vehicle can climb over small obstacles. This is similar to a lot of the experimental wheeled military support vehicles in the past. Or to get off the ramps from the lander if it lands in uneven terrain.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Duck on 12/08/2013 03:13 PM
It's called a rocker-bogie suspension, the MER rovers and MSL both use it.  It essentially mechanically keeps the body to an average in difference between all the wheels.  ie, lift the front left wheel 10 cm, dip the back right wheel 10 cm, and the body stays flat.

That being said - those photos are just stills from an animation, generated by someone who probably made it from photos, not actual CAD.  The rover probably looks a lot different than that.

-Iain
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/08/2013 05:27 PM
That being said - those photos are just stills from an animation ...
If you go back a few pages in the thread you will find the actual animation here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg1127000#msg1127000), too.
Title: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Star One on 12/08/2013 06:11 PM
There was a mention in last week's issue of New Scientist covering this mission that it may represent a concern for the LADEE lunar orbiter due to the dust & disturbance that might be kicked up by the lander. Anyone heard any other mention of this?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: veblen on 12/08/2013 06:19 PM
More like an interesting experiment for a couple of LADEE's instruments:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/12051704-change-3-and-ladee-updates.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/08/2013 08:21 PM
Are there any good line drawings/schematics of the lander and rover?

I've seen a lot of photos, but I'm curious about overall dimensions and instrument locations and things like that.
Any news about this?
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 07:19 AM
pretend to land crew on the Moon by 2025/30.

I assume you mean "intend", and not that the Chinese will try to fake a lunar landing...
Actually China is the best candidate for faking a moon landing, as in case of mission failure they will not like so much to admit the failure...  ;) I think this is the reason for which they do not advertise so much their missions until they successfully complete them!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: avollhar on 12/09/2013 07:35 AM
radio amateurs have been tracking the lunar probe so far through TLI into lunar orbit (and can do sme decent orbit analysis). I assume once the lander is on the surface, this can be 'tracked' again and verify it's stationary position on the surface.. Faking this would be really hard nowadays.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: MATTBLAK on 12/09/2013 07:59 AM
Ugh!  :( Please don't use 'faked' and 'Moon' in the same postings!! As a 'Space Geek', I get tormented all the time by 'comedians' who prattle on about how I'm deluded to believe in all that  'Faked Moon Landing stuff'  ::)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/09/2013 08:11 AM
I think this is the reason for which they do not advertise so much their missions until they successfully complete them!

which part of the two hour live feed on China Central TV Chinese, English and French channels plus frequent TV updates and special programs led you to this conclusion?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 08:55 AM
Ugh!  :( Please don't use 'faked' and 'Moon' in the same postings!! As a 'Space Geek', I get tormented all the time by 'comedians' who prattle on about how I'm deluded to believe in all that  'Faked Moon Landing stuff'  ::)
I'm a "strong believer" in USA moon landing being true.
But I don't like the "mistery" around this mission, it really looks like they're attempting to keep it as secret as they can rather than advertising it all around the world!
Is there any information around about past FAILED Chinese missions? Or did all of them go fine? From first satellite to Moon landing, all went always fine? (Just asking, I don't know almost anything about past Chinese missions).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Kryten on 12/09/2013 09:01 AM
 They 'advertised it around the world' as best they could, by doing foreign-language coverage in their own media. You can't exactly blame them for apathetic coverage in your local area.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: mlindner on 12/09/2013 09:13 AM
They 'advertised it around the world' as best they could, by doing foreign-language coverage in their own media. You can't exactly blame them for apathetic coverage in your local area.

If the information existed on the Chinese side there would be translations, if needed. Orbital events hardly even need words though, numbers is enough.

This is the first "science" mission I've ever seen that has this much hidden information.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 09:33 AM
Isn't this a bit oversized?!?
(http://fjrb.fjsen.com/fjrb/images/2013-12/04/07/res23_attpic_brief.jpg)
http://fjrb.fjsen.com/fjrb/html/2013-12/04/content_693650.htm?div=-1

And isn't this a bit... overpriced?!?  :)  (100$)
http://www.jieti.com/htm/221556.shtml
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 09:35 AM
They 'advertised it around the world' as best they could, by doing foreign-language coverage in their own media. You can't exactly blame them for apathetic coverage in your local area.
Lander is almost there, and yet it is not know how actually the rover deployment mechanism has been designed! "Rumors" talk about 2 different possibile designs existing, but none knows which one is actually used!
Probe is orbiting around the moon since two days with hi res cameras... and no images have been released yet?!?
It looks like... an ESA mission! >:-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 09:54 AM
Look at how many models of chang'e3 are available!  :)
http://s.taobao.com/search?initiative_id=staobaoz_20131209&js=1&q=%E6%CF%B6%F0%C8%FD%BA%C5&stats_click=search_radio_all%3A1

But somew Chinese sites warn that someones can by "unauthorized". (?)
Title: Re: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang, December 1, 2013 (ETD~1725UTC)
Post by: Mader Levap on 12/09/2013 10:33 AM
Actually China is the best candidate for faking a moon landing, as in case of mission failure they will not like so much to admit the failure...  ;)
Uhhhh, what? It is impossible to fake Moon mission by anyone, be it USA, China, Russia or Zimbabwe. Stop this nonsense.

But somew Chinese sites warn that someones can by "unauthorized". (?)
Eh, it is just Chinese using copyright laws when it suits them.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/09/2013 10:35 AM


And isn't this a bit... overpriced?!?  :)  (100$)
http://www.jieti.com/htm/221556.shtml (http://www.jieti.com/htm/221556.shtml)


How d'you think they funded Chang'E? :P Profit margins from all them Chinese goods...
(The second statement's actually true lol)


I wonder if twenty years would suffice, before the markets notice a scale down in "Made in China" labels, replaced by labels saying


 "Made.. ON THE MOON" :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: heinkel174 on 12/09/2013 11:25 AM
Isn't this a bit oversized?!?
(http://fjrb.fjsen.com/fjrb/images/2013-12/04/07/res23_attpic_brief.jpg)
http://fjrb.fjsen.com/fjrb/html/2013-12/04/content_693650.htm?div=-1

And isn't this a bit... overpriced?!?  :)  (100$)
http://www.jieti.com/htm/221556.shtml

The model in the second link is terrible. Color is also terrible.

I dont want it even been given for free. Other online retailers offer hugely better models for both lander and rover.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/09/2013 11:36 AM
Isn't this a bit oversized?!?
http://fjrb.fjsen.com/fjrb/html/2013-12/04/content_693650.htm?div=-1

And isn't this a bit... overpriced?!?  :)  (100$)
http://www.jieti.com/htm/221556.shtml

Interesting detail in these models
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 12:21 PM
Other online retailers offer hugely better models for both lander and rover.
Link?
A cheap plastic or even paper-to-be-built model would be interesting to me.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/09/2013 12:32 PM
I think this is the reason for which they do not advertise so much their missions until they successfully complete them!

which part of the two hour live feed on China Central TV Chinese, English and French channels plus frequent TV updates and special programs led you to this conclusion?

Yes. The Chinese have been very open about this mission. I think that the CCTV coverage was equal to if not better than most western TV coverage of space science mission launches (networks like Fox, MSNBC and CNN no longer cover space missions at all, and at most will devote ten minutes to covering a launch, as long as there is no Kardashian news). You can scroll back in this thread and see all the screencaps of the launch coverage. It included correspondents at mission control, the launch site, interviews with domestic and foreign space experts, and segments about the spacecraft and interviews with some of its builders.

They were somewhat secret about the launch date, but I think that it more of a cultural issue, not a government secrecy thing. The Chinese seem to not like to announce launch dates until shortly before launch. I imagine that they have to pass some milestone, like a flight readiness review. Until then, the date is provisional. Once they have confirmed the date for themselves, then they announce it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 12:38 PM
Maybe magic and superstition are much more the cause of  keeping launch dates and design details secret rather than government policy, in a country like China! :-/
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 12:41 PM
Anybody able to "put" Chang'e3 inside this image?

(http://www.emeraldinsight.com/content_images/fig/0490390401009.png)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/09/2013 07:11 PM
Thanks for the link to all the rover and lander models. Does anybody see any realistic versions? The Chinese seem to be really fond of the gold-plated models. I don't know why. Maybe they think it's artistic? I'd rather have an accurate version with correct color and details.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/09/2013 07:32 PM
Is there a shop in Beijing where you can buy these models from (And space envelopes?)

I'm going  Beijing soon

A-P
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/09/2013 08:07 PM
http://thespacereview.com/article/2418/1

It’s not bragging if you do it
by Dwayne Day
Monday, December 9, 2013

Later this week, if all goes according to plan, China will land a robotic spacecraft and rover on the Moon, something that nobody has done in nearly four decades. If the Chinese do what they did for the launch, they will broadcast much of the event live on television and over the Internet. Last week’s launch coverage on government-controlled English language CCTV was remarkable for its openness. Indeed, the coverage was indistinguishable from Western news coverage of a major space event. There was no propagandizing or nationalistic chest-thumping, just a straightforward reporting with lots of information about the mission and what was happening. The event, and its coverage, highlighted the fact that China has an attractive, technically sophisticated scientific space program that could serve international relations purposes. It was a demonstration of what American political scientist Joseph Nye has referred to as “soft power,” the ability to compel or attract nations to do what you want. China’s space program gives them this ability to attract partners. The problem is that some of China’s other activities undercut their attractiveness as a potential partner.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/09/2013 09:07 PM
Is there a shop in Beijing where you can buy these models from (And space envelopes?)

I'm going  Beijing soon

A-P
Try asking here:
http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-11199-1-1.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/09/2013 09:47 PM
This link was in the thread: http://news.cntv.cn/2013/12/09/VIDE1386560881527612.shtml
A new animation about the Chang'e landing sequence starts at 3:26
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/09/2013 09:51 PM
This link was in the thread: http://news.cntv.cn/2013/12/09/VIDE1386560881527612.shtml
A new animation about the Chang'e landing sequence starts at 3:26

I just got a lot of pop-up ads there. Seems like a lot of spam.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/10/2013 07:35 AM
I found the Chang'e3 microblogging site:
http://www.weibo.com/zkyzs

Latest news:
Quote
Tonight, Chang E III detector will be under the command of ground-based monitoring system, the implementation of orbital maneuvering, from the 100 km × 100 km circular orbit, 100 kilometers into orbit by lowering × 15 km elliptical orbit. The goal is to implement an elliptical orbit track power down before the last track adjustments made before is also a soft landing.
(Chrome translation)
http://www.weibo.com/3494982177/AmEaViSd5?mod=weibotime
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/10/2013 12:05 PM
In other news Chang'e 3 will lower its orbit to 15 x 100 km at 13:20 UTC (i.e. in 15 minutes).
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/10/2013 01:36 PM
In other news Chang'e 3 will lower its orbit to 15 x 100 km at 13:20 UTC (i.e. in 15 minutes).

And it has been done without issues.  :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/10/2013 01:36 PM
Is there a shop in Beijing where you can buy these models from (And space envelopes?)

I'm going  Beijing soon

A-P
A simultation model of China's first moon rover - "Jade Rabiit" - is displayed at a market in Yiwu city, East China's Zhejiang province on Dec 3, 2013. (Photo/China Daily)
http://english.people.com.cn/90882/8475036.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/10/2013 01:38 PM
In other news Chang'e 3 will lower its orbit to 15 x 100 km at 13:20 UTC (i.e. in 15 minutes).

And it has been done without issues.  :)
Source?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/10/2013 01:54 PM
Is there a shop in Beijing where you can buy these models from (And space envelopes?)

I'm going  Beijing soon

A-P
Try asking here:
http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-11199-1-1.html


OK THanks

Will try once have a good translation of web site

Thanxs

[Should really have posted in model forum ?]

A-P
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/10/2013 02:10 PM
In other news Chang'e 3 will lower its orbit to 15 x 100 km at 13:20 UTC (i.e. in 15 minutes).

And it has been done without issues.  :)
Source?

Like this one: http://scitech.people.com.cn/n/2013/1210/c1007-23803226.html (http://scitech.people.com.cn/n/2013/1210/c1007-23803226.html)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/10/2013 02:12 PM
Dozens of 1024x1024 images will be taken during descent/landing at over 10 FPS:
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=2&hl=it&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php%3Fmod%3Dredirect%26goto%3Dfindpost%26ptid%3D11199%26pid%3D278237&usg=ALkJrhhsYaZQkQMR4du63STt__LXVUZShA

There will be something like the "6 minutes of terros" on Mars, but they will be actually more than 10: 750 seconds of authomatic flight during which ground crew will not be able to do anything [I don't understand why, being the lag just 3 seconds].
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/dfpd/shehui/2013-12/10/content_17165505.htm

The variable power engine can provide 1500 to 7500 "cattle cow" [???] [Was Apollo engine variable or just on/off?]

Zheng He is responsible for probe landing system.

Engine will be turned off 4 meters (12 feet) from ground to prevent dust from disturbing. The four legs will absorb impact and will adjust depending on terrain slope, tolerating up to 15° tilt.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/dfpd/shehui/2013-12/10/content_17165505_2.htm

Deorbiting details:
18:00 Start
18:37 Chang'e3 on far side of the Moon
21:20 Engine ignition
21:24 Operation successfully completed, Chang'e 3 in 100x15 orbit.


Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/10/2013 02:23 PM
I'm getting crazy to login to the chinese forum, my password gets messed up upon clicking the login button, does anybody of you have same problem? I can't see any image if I do not log in! :-(
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/10/2013 02:32 PM
Dozens of 1024x1024 images will be taken during descent/landing at over 10 FPS:
http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=2&hl=it&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php%3Fmod%3Dredirect%26goto%3Dfindpost%26ptid%3D11199%26pid%3D278237&usg=ALkJrhhsYaZQkQMR4du63STt__LXVUZShA

There will be something like the "6 minutes of terros" on Mars, but they will be actually more than 10: 750 seconds of authomatic flight during which ground crew will not be able to do anything [I don't understand why, being the lag just 3 seconds].
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/dfpd/shehui/2013-12/10/content_17165505.htm

The variable power engine can provide 1500 to 7500 "cattle cow" [???] [Was Apollo engine variable or just on/off?]

Zheng He is responsible for probe landing system.

Engine will be turned off 4 meters (12 feet) from ground to prevent dust from disturbing. The four legs will absorb impact and will adjust depending on terrain slope, tolerating up to 15° tilt.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/dfpd/shehui/2013-12/10/content_17165505_2.htm

Deorbiting details:
18:00 Start
18:37 Chang'e3 on far side of the Moon
21:20 Engine ignition
21:24 Operation successfully completed, Chang'e 3 in 100x15 orbit.

Here "cattle cow" = Newtons  ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/10/2013 08:59 PM
A great series of tweets zooming in on the instruments on Chang'e-3

https://twitter.com/GuangLin_Galaxy/status/410528562563670016
more at
https://twitter.com/GuangLin_Galaxy
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Lar on 12/10/2013 10:04 PM
dropping the last 4 feet seems risky... how does this compare to other lunar landings? I didn't think the Apollo LEM cut engines that high up at all...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/10/2013 10:11 PM
dropping the last 4 feet seems risky... how does this compare to other lunar landings? I didn't think the Apollo LEM cut engines that high up at all...
The LEM Contact Probes were about 5 feet to signal the Contact Light and to cut engine... So its about right...

http://heroicrelics.org/info/lm/lunar-surface-probe.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JimO on 12/11/2013 02:55 AM
Here "cattle cow" = Newtons  ;) 

As a rule of thumb for scale, the force of one Newton is about the weight of one apple on Earth. Good mnemonic trick.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JimO on 12/11/2013 02:59 AM
A cheap plastic or even paper-to-be-built model would be interesting to me.

Or the maker files for my 3-D printer. I've already made my own globes of Deimos and Phobos to go with my big Mars globe. It shouldn't be too hard to make 8-10 assemblable pieces for the Yutu and/or lander.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/11/2013 03:03 AM
Or the maker files for my 3-D printer. I've already made my own globes of Deimos and Phobos to go with my big Mars globe...

Pics or it didnt happen ! :) ( or actually, do you have STL files ? My Makerbot is sitting idle .. )
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: cmj9808 on 12/11/2013 03:45 AM
Is there a shop in Beijing where you can buy these models from (And space envelopes?)

I'm going  Beijing soon

A-P
Try asking here:
http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-11199-1-1.html


OK THanks

Will try once have a good translation of web site

Thanxs

[Should really have posted in model forum ?]

A-P

I'd like to recommend the following link , you can get some discount there ;)

http://bbs.9ifly.cn/thread-12876-1-1.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 06:59 AM
Here "cattle cow" = Newtons  ;) 

As a rule of thumb for scale, the force of one Newton is about the weight of one apple on Earth. Good mnemonic trick.
I prefer "divide N by 10 and you get the weight" ;-)

A cheap plastic or even paper-to-be-built model would be interesting to me.

Or the maker files for my 3-D printer. I've already made my own globes of Deimos and Phobos to go with my big Mars globe. It shouldn't be too hard to make 8-10 assemblable pieces for the Yutu and/or lander.
Getting the 3d model for Chang'e will be as hard as it was for Sojourner model, because it was patented by Mattel; Chang'e 3 is patented too and only authorized (and paying) companies can have all the needed data to build a model. :-(
Anyway where can I find the printable Phobos and Deimos? :-)

dropping the last 4 feet seems risky... how does this compare to other lunar landings? I didn't think the Apollo LEM cut engines that high up at all...
The LEM Contact Probes were about 5 feet to signal the Contact Light and to cut engine... So its about right...

http://heroicrelics.org/info/lm/lunar-surface-probe.html
I'll go checking for weights, I think Apollo was much heavier due to the ascent stage and a bigger descent stage.
It would be interesting to find exact data about designed vertical landing speed. Maybe we could look for papers, interviews or posts from Zheng He, responsibile for landing system.

edit:
There's also Mei Tan, deputy commander of the detector system.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: NovaSilisko on 12/11/2013 07:22 AM
dropping the last 4 feet seems risky... how does this compare to other lunar landings? I didn't think the Apollo LEM cut engines that high up at all...

It was a bit of a drop on Apollo to be sure... check out what happened to 15's engine bell (top right) from the drop: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_15_Engine_Bell.jpg
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/11/2013 11:03 AM
I found this information by members from the National Laboratory of  Space Intelligence Control,
Beijing Institute of Control Engineering in an Abstract of a  paper on "AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION AND CONTROL  FOR PINPOINT LUNAR SOFT LANDING".

This probably refers to spacecraft of the Change'3 class ?

Attitude control and orbital manoeuvres by a set of thrusters and main thrust engine.

Attitude and orbit determination and hazard detection by star sensors, inertial measurement unit (IMU), altimeter, velocimeter, sun sensors and  lunar imaging sensors.

Orbit control adopts a throttleable thrust explicit guidance and gravity turn guidance .

Measurement data from three dimensional (3D) imaging sensor and a visible imaging sensor are combined for faster autonomous hazard detection at the landing zone. Hazard avoidance manoeuvres are performed by fast,open-loop control and pinpoint closed-loop  control.

Main operational modes for the GNC are powered descent , attitude adjustment, hovering and hazard avoidance and the terminal landing.

Looking forward toward this weekend's Change'3 descent to the lunar surface in the Bay of Rainbows and Yutu rover deployment.


Phill Parker
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 11:19 AM
dropping the last 4 feet seems risky... how does this compare to other lunar landings? I didn't think the Apollo LEM cut engines that high up at all...

It was a bit of a drop on Apollo to be sure... check out what happened to 15's engine bell (top right) from the drop: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_15_Engine_Bell.jpg
Looks like it was by design quite weak, to be used as a shock absorber:
(http://heroicrelics.org/info/lm/lmde/10-page.jpg)
Thickness from 0.010 to a max of 0.060 inches! (0.2 to 1.5 mm)

I think it would have collapsed under descent module weight even at 0 m/s vertical speed!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 12:01 PM
By the way, same document above is useful to compare engines powers:

Apollo: variable thrust between 1000 and ~10000 lbf (~ 4400 to 44000 N)
Chang'e3: 1500 to 7500 "cattle cows" (lbf or N??) ; weight = ?

From this interseting table http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4029/Apollo_18-37_Selected_Mission_Weights.htm  (or better from this summary... http://www.braeunig.us/apollo/LM-descent.htm  ) we see that upon landing, the Apollo descent module weighted 8300 kg.

Apollo weight at landing = 8300 kg
Chang'e  weight at landing =?

Gravity on Moon surface is 1,6249 m/s2

If I remember correctly, terminal velocity in vacuum from height H should be v = sqrt(2*a*H) (as H = 1/2 * a * t^2) and v = a * t)  , where a = 1,6249 m/s2 on the moon.

This just reminds me that object mass does not affect terminal velocity in vacuum... :-)

So we have:
v =  sqrt (3.2498*H) = 1.8 * sqrt(H)

For H=4 meters we have:

v= 1.8 * 2 = 3.6 m/s = 13 km/h

Can anybody confirm my calculations?


Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/11/2013 12:19 PM
These are some nice-looking models. But I wonder how the color scheme matches the actual vehicle.

Alas, I don't read the language, so I'm wary of trying to order anything. I wish they were on eBay or had an overseas distributor.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Lar on 12/11/2013 12:42 PM
dropping the last 4 feet seems risky... how does this compare to other lunar landings? I didn't think the Apollo LEM cut engines that high up at all...

It was a bit of a drop on Apollo to be sure... check out what happened to 15's engine bell (top right) from the drop: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Apollo_15_Engine_Bell.jpg

Wow, but isn't that due to decreased clearance (bell extension) ? That's what the WP article implies.

However I guess I shouldn't be as surprised as I was. 4-5 feet isn't that far to fall in lunar gravity I guess. Depending on what vertical velocity the craft has at engine cutoff anyway, if zero then not much at all. (non zero in either direction will make for a harder landing of course)


For H=4 meters we have:

v= 1.8 * 2 = 3.6 m/s = 13 km/h

Can anybody confirm my calculations?

Wait, 4 meters or 4 feet? That's quite a difference!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 01:49 PM
I should check back old posts or look back for original sources, anyway it should be 4m / 12ft Chang'e 3 and 1,7m / 5 ft Apollo.

Which units are in use in China? Imperial or metric?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 02:31 PM
This is barely inteligible, but look like the're talking about 4 meters rather than feet, so I don't know...

Landing the ladder down to the lunar surface , the rover was to go down. According to
Plan, " rabbit " lunar rover will be on December 15 when 38 points to 04 to 06 21
Points, to achieve the separation of the lander . Although the " off " in height from only
About two meters , but will have to spend nearly two hours , the difficulty is evident.
According to the plan , at 15:21 on December 15 to 23:38 , the
Lu , a nine hours after the rover separation , the two devices will begin Lee
With their own camera , captured in pictures for each other lunar surface.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2013/12060741-change-3-has-arrived-at-the-moon.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 02:32 PM
Wait, here they are some very clarifying posts in REAL english rather than Google-English!
We should keep an eye on this Cheng user!




cheng: 12/08/2013 12:01 CST
发射段:一箭入轨
Chang'e 1: GTO to phasing orbit to TLI orbit.
Chang'e 2: directly to TLI orbit
Chang'e 3: over a ton heavier than Chang'e 2, directly to TLI orbit.

cheng : 12/08/2013 12:06 CST
近月刹车:直接进入圆轨道
chang'e 3 is equipped with a newly designed variable thrust rocket engine to directly transfer the payload from tli orbit to the circular lunar orbit. in comparison, chang'e 1 and 2 were transfered from tli orbit to the elliptical lunar orbit then to the circular lunar orbit. this is due to limited fuel availability.

cheng: 12/08/2013 12:16 CST
软着陆:下降有动力
after 4 days in circular lunar orbit, chang'e 3 will transfer to an elliptical lunar orbit with the perilune point at 15km and the aposelene point at 100km. chang'e 3 will begin its descent at 15km at around 11:22PM~11:35PM 12/14/2013, (I believe the time is UTC+08:00. The descent engine will be ignited at 15km to decelerate, above 2km it'll have pointed its main engine downward, below 2km it'll be slowly descending. At 100m (328.084 feet) the payload will be hovering without receiving control from beijing. it'll utilize its camera and computer to identify the surface, and automatically select a plain to land on. at 4m (13.1234 feet) the descent engine will turn off, and the payload will land with a free fall.

cheng: 12/08/2013 12:22 CST
落月:9小时候月面留影
after the soft landing, first the lander will charge and initialize the rover; then the rover will start the communication link with earth control, unlock the locking mechnism, and move to the transfer mechnism (ladder). Then the rover will control the transfer mechanism to descend to the surface of the moon, and drive itself away from the lander. yutu (jade rabbit, the pet of the lunar princess in chinese folklore) will be separated from the lander at 4:38~6:21 12/15/2013, the descend will only be around 2 meters (6'7) but the entire process will take around 2 hours. nine hours after the seperation, the lander and the rover will capture some photographs of each other using the equipped cameras. and both are painted with the national flag, therefore, a color photo of the chinese national flag on the moon can be captured.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/11/2013 02:40 PM
Here "cattle cow" = Newtons  ;) 

As a rule of thumb for scale, the force of one Newton is about the weight of one apple on Earth. Good mnemonic trick.

JimO:  Heartfelt thanks for that mnenonic!
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/11/2013 02:45 PM
...the lander and the rover will capture some photographs of each other using the equipped cameras. and both are painted with the national flag, therefore, a color photo of the chinese national flag on the moon can be captured.

Told ya there'd be a flag.

Is it landing on December 15th?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 02:49 PM
Isn't it clear? ;-)

(http://bbs.9ifly.cn/data/attachment/forum/201312/11/221617vektedermrwiaacx.jpg)

(http://bbs.9ifly.cn/data/attachment/forum/201312/11/223739o6xyoecxlgo1l4ux.jpg)

http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=278530&fromuid=27122
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/11/2013 04:30 PM
So they must be currently imaging the landing area - and they probably have done health checks for various cameras already too. Have any of the photos gotten out yet ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/11/2013 04:38 PM
So they must be currently imaging the landing area

nope they can't. go outside tonight and look at the moon. you will notice that it's still night at the landing site
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2013 04:56 PM
Is there a shop in Beijing where you can buy these models from (And space envelopes?)

I'm going  Beijing soon

A-P
A simultation model of China's first moon rover - "Jade Rabiit" - is displayed at a market in Yiwu city, East China's Zhejiang province on Dec 3, 2013. (Photo/China Daily)
http://english.people.com.cn/90882/8475036.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Comga on 12/11/2013 04:59 PM
So they must be currently imaging the landing area

nope they can't. go outside tonight and look at the moon. you will notice that it's still night at the landing site

The Earth is always overhead from the landing site. There must be Earthshine from the "quarter-Earth" at this time of the month.   This is much brighter than illumination on the Earth's surface from the full Moon.   Note that this illumination would be fairly diffuse and from a high angle, which is not optimum for finding rocks and other obstacles.

I have no information on the sensitivity of their cameras, but it is possible to image the surface without direct sunlight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/11/2013 05:07 PM
I would doubt very much indeed that Earthshine would provide enough illumination to perform any significant imaging of the Chang'e 3 landing site.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/11/2013 05:26 PM
yep. that would be unprecedented. plus, I don't see the interest since CE-2 mapped the area at 1.5 m resolution
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/11/2013 06:38 PM
yep. that would be unprecedented. plus, I don't see the interest since CE-2 mapped the area at 1.5 m resolution

Are there high-res LRO maps of that area?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 06:43 PM
...the lander and the rover will capture some photographs of each other using the equipped cameras. and both are painted with the national flag, therefore, a color photo of the chinese national flag on the moon can be captured.

Told ya there'd be a flag.

Is it landing on December 15th?
As far as i KNEW,  landing is planned for 14:22 December 14th  Universal Time, but I just read now:
Landing is set for approximately 15:35 UTC.
http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3-mission-updates.html

So I'm now a bit confused. A bit MORE confused...  ::)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: EirikV on 12/11/2013 06:44 PM
I believe the landing window is 1522-1533 UTC
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/11/2013 06:55 PM
I suppose i should let my brain cells soak in the caffeine more in the mornings. What i was more interested in - at this stage they would be doing engineering checkouts of various instruments, including the cameras. And even if the perigee point is not over landing area yet, i can't imagine them not testing the camera out.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/11/2013 07:10 PM

Are there high-res LRO maps of that area?

I don't believe the exact coordinates of the landing site they are aiming for have been revealed. so it's too early to say whether it has been covered by LRO or not.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phil Stooke on 12/11/2013 07:37 PM
I don't think the rover or lander cameras are deployed during flight.  Exception - the descent camera, of course.  As for LRO coverage, pretty much the entire landing area has been imaged with this in mind, so there is a very good chance that the site will have been imaged by the narrow-angle camera.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: bolun on 12/11/2013 07:57 PM
ESA’s New Norcia station to support Moon landing

On Saturday, 14 December, ESA's 35m deep space station at New Norcia, Western Australia, will support the descent and surface operations of China's Chang'E-3 lander. Details later. Tracking support begins at 11:41 UT (12:41 CET) and continues until 18:30 UT (19:30 CET). More details later.

http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2013/12/11/esas-new-norcia-station-to-support-moon-landing/
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/11/2013 08:12 PM
I have not seen it defined specifically anywhere - only hints - but is it possible that the Change'3 lander may be employing a 3D Flash LIDAR camera to provide an autonomous landing and hazard avoidance capability ?

A similar American camera - the Advanced Scientific Concepts Inc 3D flash LIDAR camera - can generate upto 30 3D images per second at ranges from 10,000 to 1 meter. It does his by capturing the time-of-flight round trip of a laser pulse providing range distance on each pixel in its focal plane array with each laser pulse (sic ASC Inc). This data is used to create a real time 3D representation of the scene and is used to determine velocity. Comparing this data with stored map information can be used to determine general location. Software can also use this images to avoid landing hazards. I understand that ASC Inc flew early versions - successfully - on Shuttle missions on 15 July 2009 and 24 February 2011.AN ASC Inc unit fits easily onto on open hand palm to give some idea of size.

I'll be interested to see documentation that may be released by Chinain due course.


Phill Parker
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/11/2013 08:29 PM
I have not seen it defined specifically anywhere - only hints - but is it possible that the Change'3 lander may be employing a 3D Flash LIDAR camera to provide an autonomous landing and hazard avoidance capability ?
From the information posted, it seems like the descent camera is a regular CMOS camera, which is helped by a simpler laser rangefinder  - doesnt look like its an actual 3D lidar. So (guessing) its hazard avoidance system is based on combination of visual images plus laser spot ranging - not 3D point cloud of a LIDAR.

Quote
Range and velocity measurements are also provided by a large-dynamic-range laser ranging system and a microwave range sensor that become active once the vehicle has reached a certain altitude and orientation above the lunar surface....
 Navigation data is provided by the lander's inertial guidance platform, a laser ranging system and a microwave ranging sensor. At a sensed velocity after a defined burn time, the lander starts the Quick Adjusting Sequence of the descent, performing attitude maneuvers as it closes in on the surface.

Closeup of descent camera here https://twitter.com/GuangLin_Galaxy/status/410528037017354240/photo/1
I could make out "2km-4m" and CMOS from that : )
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: scicast on 12/11/2013 09:34 PM
I am currently working with a team of George Mason University computer scientists and economists on a project called SciCast and we have posted some questions related to Chang'e 3 that I think would be of interest to you...

They are:

Will Chang'e 3's Jade Rabbit Lunar Rover achieve operational status on the surface of the moon?

AND

Will China's Chang'e 3 touch down successfully on the moon's Bay of Rainbows?

SciCast is a prediction market that crowdsources the forecasting of various future innovations in Science and Technology. We have asked over 2,000 questions in fields such as astronomy, nanotechnology, climatology, synthetic biology, and computer science. Participants make their forecasts in SciCast and collectively we'll create a
probabilistic forecast about what is going to happen.

I would like to invite all forum members to join in the project. To be clear, this is a research project funded by the U.S. government and we are not asking for money, nor does it cost anything to participate.

Additionally, anyone who registers will have access to all the data our project generates. They will also be allowed to pose their own questions relevant to their research and professional interests, and they will have the opportunity to interact with other professionals in their own and related fields from around the world.

If you'd like to check it out, visit www.SciCast.org and register. Feel free to email me with any questions at jessie@scicast.org.

Cheers,
Jessie
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/11/2013 09:46 PM
I collected into my blog all info I found on Change'3 , useful for reference:
http://jumpjack.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/back-to-the-moon-chinese-mission-change3-with-yutu-rover-december-2013/
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: QuantumG on 12/11/2013 09:53 PM
I collected into my blog all info I found on Change'3 , useful for reference:
http://jumpjack.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/back-to-the-moon-chinese-mission-change3-with-yutu-rover-december-2013/

Well done, thank you.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: waja2000 on 12/12/2013 01:33 AM
By the way, same document above is useful to compare engines powers:

Apollo: variable thrust between 1000 and ~10000 lbf (~ 4400 to 44000 N)
Chang'e3: 1500 to 7500 "cattle cows" (lbf or N??) ; weight = ?

Can anybody confirm my calculations?

Chang'E 3 weight is 3780kg include 140kg jade rabbit rover. and confirm 4 meter height drop to surface. 

(http://www.zj.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/science/6595866460088581161_11n.jpg)
Chang'e3 drop test, yesterday news image
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: groovy on 12/12/2013 05:26 AM
I have not seen it defined specifically anywhere - only hints - but is it possible that the Change'3 lander may be employing a 3D Flash LIDAR camera to provide an autonomous landing and hazard avoidance capability ?
From the information posted, it seems like the descent camera is a regular CMOS camera, which is helped by a simpler laser rangefinder  - doesnt look like its an actual 3D lidar. So (guessing) its hazard avoidance system is based on combination of visual images plus laser spot ranging - not 3D point cloud of a LIDAR.

Quote
Range and velocity measurements are also provided by a large-dynamic-range laser ranging system and a microwave range sensor that become active once the vehicle has reached a certain altitude and orientation above the lunar surface....
 Navigation data is provided by the lander's inertial guidance platform, a laser ranging system and a microwave ranging sensor. At a sensed velocity after a defined burn time, the lander starts the Quick Adjusting Sequence of the descent, performing attitude maneuvers as it closes in on the surface.

Closeup of descent camera here https://twitter.com/GuangLin_Galaxy/status/410528037017354240/photo/1
I could make out "2km-4m" and CMOS from that : )

Actually you can find  the on-board instrument's introduction material from here

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26848.msg1127307#msg1127307

And Galactic Penguin SST already translated them to English.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/12/2013 05:43 AM
This might've been mentioned before, but I haven't managed to pick it up.
What's the maximum tilt that the lander can handle, and the maximum impact velocity that the legs can handle?

Note: Found this really interesting Collect Space thread - http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/001189.html (http://www.collectspace.com/ubb/Forum29/HTML/001189.html)
..and the IEEE paper linked in there (behind a paywall unfortunately, so I haven't read it) - http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/5440860/5446655/05447029.pdf (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/iel5/5440860/5446655/05447029.pdf)

You read about all the design stories, the vibration isolation payload mounts to the rockets, the mass reductions, and you construct this image of a fragile machine in your mind. It's reinforced by the fact that they can't afford "packaging" material (thermally, or mass wise) and the innards are all visible (as opposed to coming in a neat basic geometric object form factor).

And then you read about them being dropped like rocks onto the ground from several metres up. Man, I love spaceflight. :D

Quote
Navigation data is provided by the lander's inertial guidance platform, a laser ranging system and a microwave ranging sensor. At a sensed velocity after a defined burn time, the lander starts the Quick Adjusting Sequence of the descent, performing attitude maneuvers as it closes in on the surface.

How is it getting navigational data through laser ranging? Is it ranging itself from the orbiter (which, in turn, is being ranged from Earth/terrain matching)

cheng: 12/08/2013 12:22 CST
落月:9小时候月面留影
...
Then the rover will control the transfer mechanism to descend to the surface of the moon, and drive itself away from the lander.

The rover controls the ladder on the lander?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/12/2013 06:04 AM
I remember seeing a 15° maximum landing angle for Chang'e 3. Dropping from 4 m on the moon would be like dropping from 0.66 m on Earth. Fall time on the Moon is 2.22 s giving a velocity of 3.6 m/s.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/12/2013 09:02 AM
I collected into my blog all info I found on Change'3 , useful for reference:
http://jumpjack.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/back-to-the-moon-chinese-mission-change3-with-yutu-rover-december-2013/

I don't expect images from the descent camera to be streamed live. that's a lot of data to transmit, and there are surely more urgent engineering data to relay to Earth during the phase. don't forget that even the Apollos did not transmit video during the descent. the Apollo descent videos were filmed on 16 mm film and were only released after astronauts returned to Earth.
expect video from CE-3 to be stored on board and to be released a couple of days (or more) later.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/12/2013 09:36 AM
don't forget that even the Apollos did not transmit video during the descent. the Apollo descent videos were filmed on 16 mm film and were only released after astronauts returned to Earth.
I think it's just because they were using a couple of Commodore 64s as a navigation computer and a 2400 bps modem for data transmission.   ;) :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/12/2013 02:43 PM
New news site:
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/change3/
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/12/2013 02:59 PM
While we wait:
Chang'e is equipped with UHF transmitter which can operate at 4 different data rates, to optimize energy consumption while communicating with the rover as it keeps getting far from the lander.
UHF is used because it is not affected by lunar dust [which could be picked up during landing].
Main task of UHF device on the lander is to send commands to the rover.
There are two separated channels for telemetries and scientific data.
The rover can both communicate with Earth through the lander and directly.
http://www.chinesetoday.com/big/article/824904

Interesting infographics:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/photo/2013-12/11/c_132958075.htm


Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/12/2013 06:10 PM
How is it getting navigational data through laser ranging? Is it ranging itself from the orbiter (which, in turn, is being ranged from Earth/terrain matching)

I suspect that it is some sort of terrain mapping, just like cruise missiles use. The computer knows the height profile of the terrain, so if the laser measures something like 1-1-2-3-2-1-1-1-2-2-2-1 for height, that matches the map it has in its memory. Combine this with the inertial system and other inputs.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Danderman on 12/12/2013 06:25 PM
How is it getting navigational data through laser ranging? Is it ranging itself from the orbiter (which, in turn, is being ranged from Earth/terrain matching)

I suspect that it is some sort of terrain mapping, just like cruise missiles use. The computer knows the height profile of the terrain, so if the laser measures something like 1-1-2-3-2-1-1-1-2-2-2-1 for height, that matches the map it has in its memory. Combine this with the inertial system and other inputs.

This goes back to the digital altitude map I referred to earlier, and implies that landings in the dark are possible.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/12/2013 06:29 PM
I don't expect images from the descent camera to be streamed live. that's a lot of data to transmit, and there are surely more urgent engineering data to relay to Earth during the phase. don't forget that even the Apollos did not transmit video during the descent. the Apollo descent videos were filmed on 16 mm film and were only released after astronauts returned to Earth.
expect video from CE-3 to be stored on board and to be released a couple of days (or more) later.
Actually, i would think exactly the opposite. Remember, this is mostly an engineering validation mission first, and the most risky part is the landing. In the landing phase, it would apprear that camera is their primary guidance sensor. Should something go wrong and it goes splat, you want to have the critical sensor data available to reconstruct what might have happened.
They are using X-band which gives you a pretty wide link budget, and if they are using digital video compression at all you can easily fit low resolution video layer in the bandwidth.

EDIT: Some indication on what the data rates might be:
Quote
While in lunar orbit, Chang’e-2 was able to relay digital images at 2 megabits per second, and at the more distant SEL-2 point, it achieved 750 kilobits per second. For the Toutatis encounter, the rate, via the probe’s 0.6-meter high-gain S-band antenna, was down to just 20 kb/s.

And further, from here : http://www.lpi.usra.edu/sbag/meetings/jan2013/presentations/sbag8_presentations/TUES_0930_CE_Toutatis.pdf

Quote
Testing technologies such as 12 Mbps high-speed data transmission, low density parity check coding (LDPC), light-weight CMOS monitoring and landing cameras

Presumably that refers to the X-band transmitter capability testing

Another thing i found from that presentation : http://moon.bao.ac.cn/ , translated through baidu  (http://fanyi.baidu.com/transpage?query=http%3A%2F%2Fmoon.bao.ac.cn%2F&source=url&ie=utf8&from=auto&to=zh&render=1)
Seems like some Chang'e-2 data sets  ??

EDIT: actually, this http://159.226.88.59:7779/CE1OutENGWeb/step.jsp
Quote
2. According to the regulations, currently all the level 2 and level 3 scientific data of CE-1 are open to the public. A user can download the data after registering on the website.
    3. The CE-2 data are now within the proprietary status, and users should submit the “CLEP Science Data Application Form” to the engineering center in case they need the CE-2 data. GRAS will provide the users with the corresponding science data within 10 days upon receiving the application form from the engineering center;
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/12/2013 06:38 PM
Re lunar  landings in the dark, remember that the Luna sample-return missions carried out their work on the lunar surface both during local daytime and during local night-time.

So landings in darkness are not unprecedented.   Of course, the sample-return missions were not carrying solar panels.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phil Stooke on 12/12/2013 07:01 PM
Certainly lunar landings are possible in the dark, but we know the landing is scheduled for Dec. 14th when the landing area will be sunlit.

Descent images have been taken by other missions but never so far have they been transmitted live.  There's a first time for everything and this might be it.  My impression, however, was that they would be used onboard for hazard avoidance and only transmitted later.  But I could be wrong.

Phil
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/12/2013 07:10 PM
Certainly lunar landings are possible in the dark, but we know the landing is scheduled for Dec. 14th when the landing area will be sunlit.
Descent images have been taken by other missions but never so far have they been transmitted live.  There's a first time for everything and this might be it.  My impression, however, was that they would be used onboard for hazard avoidance and only transmitted later.  But I could be wrong.
Phil

I was responding to Danderman's comment above.   Only the Soviet Union landed spacecraft on the Moon when it was locally dark.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/12/2013 07:16 PM
Quote
Range and velocity measurements are also provided by a large-dynamic-range laser ranging system and a microwave range sensor that become active once the vehicle has reached a certain altitude and orientation above the lunar surface....
 Navigation data is provided by the lander's inertial guidance platform, a laser ranging system and a microwave ranging sensor. At a sensed velocity after a defined burn time, the lander starts the Quick Adjusting Sequence of the descent, performing attitude maneuvers as it closes in on the surface.


[/quote]

Reading above I would suggest that no images will be used - just instrument data readings from the Inertial Reference gyros on the "stable" platform  , the laser ranging system and the microwave range sensor.
I think the Descent Camera is just for taking descent images from various altitudes at time increments - which will be downloaded later. From these images they will be able judge where exactly on target zone they have landed in sinus Iridum and to - maybe - plot the Yutu rover path for first few "excursions" ?

But all this guessing comes from China not releasing more detailed information - at least not yet. There IS a lot of information coming out but via many different media outlets - be better if it came from the space agency itself in form of press/media kit ? Maybe they can work on that one for next time :-)

Phill
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/12/2013 07:18 PM
IIRC only Luna 20 landed in daylight (and is also the only one for which pictures have been published)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: plutogno on 12/12/2013 07:19 PM
I think the Descent Camera is just for taking descent images from various altitudes at time increments - which will be downloaded later. F

as I understand it, the camera is mainly for feeding data to a real-time 3D terrain reconstruction algorithm that is used for obstacle avoidance
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/12/2013 07:20 PM
Reading above I would suggest that no images will be used ..
No, they have said in multiple instances that the landing is guided by visual obstacle detection

http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3.html
Quote
Once in its hovering segment, about 100 meters above the surface, the lander will start acquiring images using its descent camera. The computer will be using a newly developed obstacle-recognition algorithm using optical images and 3D elevation data. Flying horizontally, the lander autonomously finds a flat spot for landing, avoiding any obstacles that can be detected using its systems.

It is not a "blind" landing - i.e. they basically have equivalent of ALHAT capability.

The previous maximum resolution for the terrain map they achieved was up to 1.5 meters per pixel. That is not sufficient for safe landing.

BTW, note that no previous planetary landing has had autonomous hazard avoidance capability so far.

EDIT: and here are some insights of how it might work
Paper published by JPL, in 2008
http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/41368/1/07-4233.pdf

Paper published at CAST, 2010, citing the previous one
http://www.cast.org.cn/n35081/n11219166/n11219211/n11799877/n12217613.files/n12217625.pdf


as I understand it, the camera is mainly for feeding data to a real-time 3D terrain reconstruction algorithm that is used for obstacle avoidance
From the brief read over the badly translated chinese paper here ( and other chinese papers citing these) , it looks like it would be a fairly common approach used in modern robotics of multi sensor fusion, with optical sensor being the primary high frequency input.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/12/2013 07:46 PM
This question of drop height by Change'3 lander of 4 meters.

Remember that USA's first soft lander spacecraft - Surveyor 1 (launched 30 May 1966 ) - had its retrorockets turned off at a height of about 3.4 meters above the lunar surface. It landed safely and started science operations shortly afterwards.

Really getting a "buzz" now about Saturday's descent - the first one since the Russians  did the last soft landing all those decades ago !

Phill
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/12/2013 08:24 PM
Lacking updates, I'm posting this:
As I don't have a great view of the Moon right now, according to this U.S. Naval Observatory simulator (see attached image), it is now dawn at the Chang'e 3 landing site (Sinus Iridum, circled by me)

Edit: forgot to post the link: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/imagery/moon
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/12/2013 09:05 PM
it is now dawn at the Chang'e 3 landing site


So the sun is coming up.

http://youtu.be/oU4Rk0NATNs
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phil Stooke on 12/12/2013 11:30 PM
Re: earlier night landers.  Luna 16, 18, 20 carried cameras, Luna 23, 24 did not (redesigned sampler instead).  Luna 16 landed at night, took pics anyway to see if Earthshine was OK for imaging.  Pics showed small glints off rocks, but were considered useless and were never published.  I would sell my grandmother for access to the digital data (sorry, Gran) - with modern techniques we could do a lot with it.  Luna 20 - in daylight with pics released.  The others - I haven't checked landing times.

Phil

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/13/2013 04:57 AM
I don't expect images from the descent camera to be streamed live. that's a lot of data to transmit, and there are surely more urgent engineering data to relay to Earth during the phase....
Actually, i would think exactly the opposite. Remember, this is mostly an engineering validation mission first, and the most risky part is the landing. In the landing phase, it would apprear that camera is their primary guidance sensor. Should something go wrong and it goes splat, you want to have the critical sensor data available to reconstruct what might have happened.
They are using X-band which gives you a pretty wide link budget, and if they are using digital video compression at all you can easily fit low resolution video layer in the bandwidth.

But precisely because it's an engineering validation mission, you'd want the numbers - as perceived by the sensors on the spacecraft - and the numbers input into the control programs, and the corresponding responses from the thrusters. If an anomaly were to occur, how much can you tell with defocused, under/over-exposed images - assuming a fast anomaly[1]? All you'll have is a full field lunar image (surely no anomaly is going to be so bad as to cause tumbling!), without any idea of scale, and you won't even be able to tell how high up the craft was. Sure, you can compare the images to the images from the orbiter, and try to work out a scale, but the orbiter's resolution's limited, and it'll only help give you an upper bound for the height - by correlating features. If the spacecraft tumbles, then this becomes made a lot more complex - estimating rates from image data alone.

In any case, even if you're able to extract precise information - time, height and attitude: without other data, you're only speculating and extrapolating backwards - as to the cause of the problem.

[1] Plus - If the anomaly's a "slow" one - say... overdrawing current from the batteries, an SEU/SEL at an unpleasant time, overheating of the sensors, etc. etc. - and you actually manage to land - there's a problem simmering under the surface, and you don't initiate safe mode (if the S/C may not be able to initiate it etc. etc.)

As regards all the Apollo comparisons, I don't think, with the presence of the CSM overhead, that link budget was a limiting factor? Transmit all data in real time (hedging against any malfunction, and possible later inability to transfer) from LEM to CSM, archive the imagery aboard the CSM, transmit other essential data back to Houston. (Processing power may've been a factor though?)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: AJA on 12/13/2013 05:30 AM
BTW, note that no previous planetary landing has had autonomous hazard avoidance capability so far.


Chang'E 3 media sound-byte? :D


cf. http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/technology/insituexploration/edl/descentimaging/ (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/technology/insituexploration/edl/descentimaging/)


JPL themselves say that the MARDI on MSL wasn't used for ALHAT...
But look at the caption to the image of an MER MARDI image on the same page.


Quote
This image simulates how the descent imager for the Mars Exploration Rovers took three pictures of the surface and compared high-contrast features (e.g., craters) to determine the spacecraft's horizontal velocity during entry, descent, and landing. This measurement helped determine which transverse rockets should be fired to keep the spacecraft within its planned landing area.


That qualifies as rudimentary ALHAT to me.


In any case, what did the various Luna landers use then? For their night landings? Supreme confidence in their orbital imagery, and the onboard IMU, coupled with copious hydrazine reserves for the lander, and copious vodka reserves for the controllers? :P


Also. how would a descent camera distinguish between really smooth, uniform terrain, and a unfocused/ non optimally exposed image? Or even between really smooth terrain and a "greyout" readout/conditioning electronics failure?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/13/2013 05:54 AM
But precisely because it's an engineering validation mission, you'd want the numbers - as perceived by the sensors on the spacecraft - and the numbers input into the control programs, and the corresponding responses from the thrusters....
Yes, i wasnt saying you should discard the rest of the telemetry stream in favour of video, and bandwidth wise all other sensor and checkpoint data in telemetry frames would probably not make up even 1% video bitrate.


Quote
This image simulates how the descent imager for the Mars Exploration Rovers took three pictures of the surface and compared high-contrast features (e.g., craters) to determine the spacecraft's horizontal velocity during entry, descent, and landing. This measurement helped determine which transverse rockets should be fired to keep the spacecraft within its planned landing area.
That qualifies as rudimentary ALHAT to me.
Not really - this is a form of visual odometry that helps the position estimate, i.e. backup data stream for IMU. It is not active hazard avoidance , which is what ALHAT does.

Quote
In any case, what did the various Luna landers use then? For their night landings? Supreme confidence in their orbital imagery, and the onboard IMU, coupled with copious hydrazine reserves for the lander, and copious vodka reserves for the controllers? :P
I didnt dig out the books that i have on the subject, but from what i recall they were mostly banking on their landers mechanical robustness - and lots of blind luck. Orbital imagery would have given no confidence at the time, as it doesnt today - the resolution is not there.

Quote
Also. how would a descent camera distinguish between really smooth, uniform terrain, and a unfocused/ non optimally exposed image? Or even between really smooth terrain and a "greyout" readout/conditioning electronics failure?
These are common problems that robotic vision systems have to deal with - for intro, see the english paper i linked to above. Basically you do sensor fusion from multiple sources and a lot of signal filtering to discard low confidence inputs. Unfocussed and nonoptimally exposed frames are the least of the problems there.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/13/2013 06:28 AM
In other news tomorrow's landing time seems to have shifted again - there are news reports giving a ~13:40 UTC (8:40 am EST) landing time. I honestly do't know which one to believe in...
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/13/2013 09:23 AM
This weird (as usual) translation suggests two different engines being onboard:
Quote
When Chang E III hover in the 100 meters, in addition to the main engine, the soft landing engines work. Use of reverse thrust engine ignition, and slowly let it down.
Could this be true?!?

About obstacle avoidance it says:
Quote
However, in order to allow Chang E III to better avoid these dangers, the lander is also equipped with "eyes", ie ranging speed sensitive instrument. During landing, it can quickly scan the surface of the moon, or even draw a three-dimensional images of the lunar surface for program analysis and judgment, and hover height of 100 meters, the final level of the Chang-e III moved over the best landing point.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Garrett on 12/13/2013 09:56 AM
In other news tomorrow's landing time seems to have shifted again - there are news reports giving a ~13:40 UTC (8:40 am EST) landing time. I honestly do't know which one to believe in...
I am actually quite amazed that very few mainstream news outlets are following the story. I honestly (naively?) expected the first Moon landing of the 21st century to be creating a much bigger stir. Sure, tomorrow evening there will be a headline or two, but I expected (or hoped) for more, even though it's not a manned landing.

Maybe actually imagery from the Moon's surface will wake folks up a bit. Maybe.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: QuantumG on 12/13/2013 10:45 AM
In other news tomorrow's landing time seems to have shifted again - there are news reports giving a ~13:40 UTC (8:40 am EST) landing time. I honestly do't know which one to believe in...
I am actually quite amazed that very few mainstream news outlets are following the story. I honestly (naively?) expected the first Moon landing of the 21st century to be creating a much bigger stir. Sure, tomorrow evening there will be a headline or two, but I expected (or hoped) for more, even though it's not a manned landing.

Maybe actually imagery from the Moon's surface will wake folks up a bit. Maybe.

Will there be live coverage somewhere? CCTV perhaps?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/13/2013 11:06 AM
In other news tomorrow's landing time seems to have shifted again - there are news reports giving a ~13:40 UTC (8:40 am EST) landing time. I honestly do't know which one to believe in...
I am actually quite amazed that very few mainstream news outlets are following the story. I honestly (naively?) expected the first Moon landing of the 21st century to be creating a much bigger stir. Sure, tomorrow evening there will be a headline or two, but I expected (or hoped) for more, even though it's not a manned landing.

Maybe actually imagery from the Moon's surface will wake folks up a bit. Maybe.

Will there be live coverage somewhere? CCTV perhaps?

There should be on CCTV - not sure when does it starts on the English channel, but on the Chinese side a special program should start at 11:00 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/13/2013 11:19 AM
Found a very interesting and very active Chinese forum!

From rover thread (http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_6941624_1.html):
Weight: 140 kg
Operating temperature range:-180°C/+150°C
Internal controlled temperature: +20°C/+50°C
Gradeability: 20°
Obstacle height: 20cm
Visual capabilities:  three-dimensional optical imaging, infrared spectroscopy


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
Chang E II lunar Rainbow Bay local image maps   http://bbs.tiexue.net/post_4596431_1.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/13/2013 01:44 PM
Ok cool. So we need a live thread for the coverage and be on standby for the live webcast at 11am UTC.

All in work, including an article from Rui.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/13/2013 02:02 PM
I am actually quite amazed that very few mainstream news outlets are following the story. I honestly (naively?) expected the first Moon landing of the 21st century to be creating a much bigger stir. Sure, tomorrow evening there will be a headline or two, but I expected (or hoped) for more, even though it's not a manned landing.

Not surprising. For one thing, it's not really news until it actually happens. LADEE got covered after the launch, but primarily because it was so visible along a very populated coast. MAVEN got some coverage, but not much. And American media doesn't really care about what happens in China, or much of the rest of the world, for that matter. You can watch CNN for days and most of their coverage is domestic, or about 3-4 countries that are currently experiencing turmoil.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: jumpjack on 12/13/2013 05:57 PM
Long english post about landing site with plenty of images:
http://lunarnetworks.blogspot.ca/2013/12/quick-glance-at-change-3-sinus-iridum.html

"Fresh" image: sun raised, ready for landing"! :-)
(http://ade.tdenk.de/2013/CIMG1314sc.jpg)

Landing now scheduled for 1 orbit earlier, at 13:40 UTC (~8:40 am EST/5:40 am PST/9:40 pm in Beijing).

i would have supposed they would have DELAYED landing time, they would have actually landed at previously scheduled time, would have spent two hours checking/cutting/editing images and footage and would have "declared" all happened two hours later!  ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/13/2013 06:48 PM
Probably the best annotated diagrams of the lander and rover I have seen so far.  ;)

(source (http://bbs.9ifly.cn/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=11199&pid=278419))
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: veblen on 12/13/2013 07:22 PM
I am actually quite amazed that very few mainstream news outlets are following the story. I honestly (naively?) expected the first Moon landing of the 21st century to be creating a much bigger stir. Sure, tomorrow evening there will be a headline or two, but I expected (or hoped) for more, even though it's not a manned landing.

Not surprising. For one thing, it's not really news until it actually happens. LADEE got covered after the launch, but primarily because it was so visible along a very populated coast. MAVEN got some coverage, but not much. And American media doesn't really care about what happens in China, or much of the rest of the world, for that matter. You can watch CNN for days and most of their coverage is domestic, or about 3-4 countries that are currently experiencing turmoil.

Well, apart from the launch vids, what coverage has been provided for people to look at? Images of the earth/moon while on the journey would have been nice, but we didn't get any. Chang'e-3 has been orbiting the moon for several days, and now at a pretty impressively low altitude. But no vids/pics available.

With a safe landing on Luna that will all change of course.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/13/2013 07:34 PM
Well, apart from the launch vids, what coverage has been provided for people to look at?
Apparently the official mission blog on Sina Weibo has been pretty active with updates.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/13/2013 08:17 PM
I think members of the forum will find the following information of direct interest to the Change'3 mission lunar soft landing that is due to take place tomorrow (14th December 2013)

The following is text taken from the paper called:-

AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION AND CONTROL FOR PINPOINT LUNAR SOFT LANDING
by Xiangyu Huang, Dayi Wang, Yingzi He, Yifeng Guan

which was presented at the:-

International ESA Conference on Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems
2-5 June 2008, Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland


A LUNAR SOFT LANDING SCENARIO

In the Fig.1, the lunar soft landing process is divided into four phases. The first phase is the powered descent phase, from 15km altitude above the lunar surface to 2km altitude above the landing zone. In this phase, the relative velocity of the spacecraft to the Moon will drop from 1714m/s to 0m/s. The second phase is the approach phase, from 2km to 100m altitude above the landing zone. The landing attitude should be adjusted to be vertical to lunar surface in a period as short as possible. During this phase, a thrust engine will be used to counteract lunar gravity. In this way, the spacecraft could slowly descend in variable velocity. The third phase is terminal landing phase from 100m to 4m altitude above the landing site. The velocity caused by lunar gravity should be cancelled to make the terminal velocity
reduce to 0m/s. During this phase, lunar imaging sensor is used to explore the terrain of landing zone. The spacecraft could perform the horizontal displacement to choose appropriate landing site. The fourth phase is the free descent phase from 4m to 0m altitude above the landing site.

[Fig.1 Schematic of lunar soft landing process]

AN INITIAL GNC SYSTEM SCHEME FOR PINPOINT LUNAR SOFT LANDING
The attitude control system for pinpoint lunar soft landing is a 3-axis stabilized system. Attitude control and orbit maneuver are achieved by a set of thrusters and a main throttleable thrust engine. A parameterized approach to attitude control system design [1] is applied for pinpoint lunar soft landing. Attitude & orbit determination and hazard detection are performed by star sensors, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), altimeter, velocimeter, sun sensors, and lunar imaging sensors. The main operation modes of GNC include powered descent, approach, hovering & hazard avoidance, and terminal landing. Orbit control adopts a throttleable thrust explicit guidance and the gravity turn guidance. The GNC system configuration for pinpoint lunar soft landing is shown in Fig. 2.

[Fig.2 Schematic diagram of GNC system configuration for lunar landing spacecraft ]


Sensors
(1) Sun sensors and star sensors
There are three kinds of sun sensors, which are digital sun sensors, analog sun sensors and 0-1 sun sensors, used for three different kinds of operation conditions. The three star sensors are used to guarantee global acquisition and tracking capability.
(2) IMU
IMU includes gyros and accelerometers and is used for attitude and orbit measurement for spacecraft, which is one of the key units of GNC system. IMU is the major measurement element particularly during orbit maneuver and soft landing phases. Gyro cluster includes six single degree of freedom rate integrating gyros and is used for measuring the three-axis attitude angular relative speed of spacecraft wrt inertial space. Any three of the six gyros could form an operation mode to complete the attitude measurement mission independently.
There are four accelerometers. The gauging axes of three accelerometers are parallel to three spacecraft principal axes of inertia, respectively. One accelerometer is equipped slantingly.
(3) Altimeter
Altimeter is used to measure the distance between spacecraft and lunar surface along its line-of-sight direction during soft landing phase. The other related position information could be obtained according to the attitude.
(4) Velocimeter
Velocimeter is used to measure the velocity of spacecraftalong its line-of-sight direction during the soft landing phase. The other related velocity information could be obtained according to the attitude.
(5) Lunar imaging sensor
Lunar imaging sensor is used to obtain the image of lunar surface during soft landing phase. Then the data will be transmitted to GNC computer, which will process, judge and choose the proper landing site. Lunar imaging sensor includes three-dimensional imaging sensor and optical imaging sensor.
Actuators
(1) Orbit control thruster
A throttleable thrust engine with the range of thrust from 1500N to 7500N is selected.
(2) Attitude control thruster
Bi-propellant  thrusters  are  used.  16×150N thrusters will be equipped. The 12×150N thruster is used for attitude control during orbit maneuver period, forming the double branches as redundancy each other. The other 4×150N thruster provides the horizontal maneuver capability.
GNC Computer
GNC computer will collect and process the data from all the sensors and actuators, perform GNC calculation and issue control signals to actuators, etc.
Operation modes
(1) Powered descent
The brake engine fires at perilune to cancel the initial velocity of the lander. Explicit guidance method is used in powered descent phase. The main thruster in landing propulsion system operates. Attitude control is achieved by a 150N thruster. Attitude determination is achieved by making use of gyro prediction method. Autonomous navigation based on measurement-updated IMU is used.
(2) Approach
Landing attitude will be adjusted to be vertical to the landing surface in quite a short time. During this period, the increment in vertical velocity caused by lunar gravitational acceleration should be removed. The thrust is required to be almost equal to the lunar gravity of the lander. At the same time, the horizontal velocity will be reduced continuously.
(3) Hovering and hazard avoidance
In order to keep the spacecraft hovering, the thrust of the engine is requiredto be almost equal to the lunar gravity of the lander. Attitude stabilization should be kept by 10N attitude thruster. Lunar imaging sensor should be ensured to operate normally. Lunar imaging sensor in the state of hovering is used to acquire the information of lunar surface altitude and images. GNC computer will detect hazard and choose safe landing site based on the information. The 4×150N thruster is used to perform horizontal movement to avoid hazard.
(4) Terminal landing
The lander will perform soft landing on the moon in verticalattitude. Gravity turning guidance is applied to reduce the velocity. Attitude control is achieved by a 150N thruster. Attitude determination is achieved by gyro prediction. Autonomous navigation based on measurement-updated IMU is used.


Phill Parker

Please see the full excellent paper called :-

AUTONOMOUS NAVIGATION AND CONTROL FOR PINPOINT LUNAR SOFT LANDING
by Xiangyu Huang, Dayi Wang, Yingzi He, Yifeng Guan

for the full text and illustrations.I fully recommend it:-))



Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/13/2013 08:52 PM
Well, apart from the launch vids, what coverage has been provided for people to look at? Images of the earth/moon while on the journey would have been nice, but we didn't get any. Chang'e-3 has been orbiting the moon for several days, and now at a pretty impressively low altitude. But no vids/pics available.

There's a lot of animation available. And if a Western network wanted to cover it, they could interview people involved in the mission.

But again, robotic space missions get little coverage in the American press, and foreign subjects get little coverage in the American press. Multiply a small number by a small number and you get a small number.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/13/2013 09:05 PM
Spaceflight101 posts a very detailed summary again about the expected sequence of events

http://www.spaceflight101.com/change-3-mission-updates.html

But again, robotic space missions get little coverage in the American press..
MSL landing was fairly well covered
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/13/2013 10:10 PM
Just took this image of Moon ( waxing gibbous ) ( 22:50 GMT 13th December 2013 from mid UK ) using a general digital "tourist camera" . Had a high layer of haze over my region.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Apollo-phill on 12/13/2013 10:28 PM
 Previous image not the best since my digital camera fairly old but it shows Moon as "..it was..." for me this evening.

However,here is what the Moon will be like - for those who can view it tomorrow - when Change'3 descends and , hopefully, lands successfully and deploys Yutu rover.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: JimO on 12/14/2013 12:56 AM
.... And if a Western network wanted to cover it, they could interview people involved in the mission.

We've tried in Beijing, there is a remarkable level of reluctance of officials to go on record about the landing. If you have any names and phone numbers, please share via message.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: savuporo on 12/14/2013 01:01 AM
With less than 12 hours to go now, flurry of articles now hitting the western media

http://www.dailytech.com/Chinas+Lunar+Rover+Enters+Orbit+Prepares+for+Historic+Sat+Landing/article33930c.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25356603
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24759-chinas-jade-rabbit-kicks-off-next-lunar-space-race.html
http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/stories/why-chinas-moon-rover-mission-matters

New Scientist actually takes up the "Eighth continent" angle
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Blackstar on 12/14/2013 02:07 AM
MSL landing was fairly well covered

Cause Curiosity was badass.

But most of this stuff gets generally ignored compared to more pressing issues, like the fact that it's winter and it is cold outside.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/14/2013 02:13 AM
Another reason for the low media coverage of Chang'e 3 has to be the death of Nelson Mandela.   That came the day before lunar orbit injection and the landing comes on the day of his funeral.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/14/2013 02:34 AM
Something to consider for today's Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon.   In 1966 the Soviet Union succeeded in its first survivable landing on the Moon with Luna 9 after 11 failed attempts (including launch vehicle failures).   The same year the United States made its first survivable landing on the Moon with Surveyor 1 after three failed attempts.   So the Chinese will be extremely lucky to complete a soft-landing at their first attempt.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: QuantumG on 12/14/2013 02:42 AM
Something to consider for today's Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon.   In 1966 the Soviet Union succeeded in its first survivable landing on the Moon with Luna 9 after 11 failed attempts (including launch vehicle failures).   The same year the United States made its first survivable landing on the Moon with Surveyor 1 after three failed attempts.   So the Chinese will be extremely lucky to complete a soft-landing at their first attempt.

Lucky.. or they'll have the benefit of hindsight and modern engineering simulation.

Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/14/2013 02:52 AM
Something to consider for today's Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon.   In 1966 the Soviet Union succeeded in its first survivable landing on the Moon with Luna 9 after 11 failed attempts (including launch vehicle failures).   The same year the United States made its first survivable landing on the Moon with Surveyor 1 after three failed attempts.   So the Chinese will be extremely lucky to complete a soft-landing at their first attempt.
Lucky.. or they'll have the benefit of hindsight and modern engineering simulation.

True, but I can imagine that in some quarters the mission will be ridiculed if it fails to survive the landing attempt.   So i thought it appropriate to highlight that no-one succeeded first time.   Of course the Chinese are by-passing the rough-landing phase of their lunar programme, going straight for a full soft-landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: QuantumG on 12/14/2013 02:55 AM
True, but I can imagine that in some quarters the mission will be ridiculed if it fails to survive the landing attempt.

Fair enough. It's a shame that happens.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Phillip Clark on 12/14/2013 03:03 AM
True, but I can imagine that in some quarters the mission will be ridiculed if it fails to survive the landing attempt.
Fair enough. It's a shame that happens.

Plus this mission makes me feel really ancient, since I can remember the Rangers returning their photos as they crashed onto the Moon, the Luna 9 rough-landing and Surveyor 1's soft landing - the latter carried live on TV here in the UK.   The Rangers were pre-INTELSAT 1, so no live coverage for us.   It is hard to realise that there are people who have never followed a lunar landing attempt either "live" or as a contemporary event.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/14/2013 03:42 AM
CCTV update coming up soon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: lcs on 12/14/2013 03:47 AM
Something to consider for today's Chang'e 3 landing on the Moon.   In 1966 the Soviet Union succeeded in its first survivable landing on the Moon with Luna 9 after 11 failed attempts (including launch vehicle failures).   The same year the United States made its first survivable landing on the Moon with Surveyor 1 after three failed attempts.   So the Chinese will be extremely lucky to complete a soft-landing at their first attempt.

Surveyor 1 succeeded on its first attempt.  What were the three failed attempts?
Title: Re: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/14/2013 04:09 AM
Ok, everyone to the landing thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33511.0