Author Topic: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013  (Read 316426 times)

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Less than 60 hours to liftoff!
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online plutogno

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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:
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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
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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

Offline luhai167

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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.

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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
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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

Offline savuporo

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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
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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
« Last Edit: 11/29/2013 09:41 PM by savuporo »
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Online Kryten

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 Finally an official lift-off time, from Xinhua;
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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.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2013 01:55 AM by Kryten »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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?)











Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline darklighter

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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.
"See you tomorrow, curator."

Offline tehwkd

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Any confirmed webcasts? Will CCTV cover liftoff?

Does anyone have links to CCTV streams? (lost mine)
Custodian of @NextLaunch, janitor of LaunchLibrary.net

Offline snowhole

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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).

Offline HappyMartian

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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.
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline savuporo

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@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 ?
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Some related photos from Xichang over the past few days....
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

And news reports from earlier today (I really need to take a break from writing college papers to translate them!  :-\):





Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline savuporo

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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

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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/
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

XSLC earlier today:

(images from http://news.qq.com/a/20131201/004324.htm)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

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.
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline savuporo

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ESA tracking team just posted this
http://blogs.esa.int/rocketscience/2013/12/01/esa-support-to-chinas-change-3-is-go/

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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.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

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