Author Topic: LIVE: Chang'e-3 lunar probe and rover, CZ-3B - Xichang - December 1, 2013  (Read 190101 times)

Offline plutogno

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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)
I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.
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Offline Phillip Clark

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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.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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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.

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

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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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.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline hal9000

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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

Offline Phillip Clark

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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.

Offline Danderman

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The lander looks big enough for a human mission, almost.


Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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OK I got another two dozen photos......  :o
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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

Offline Satori

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Great collection! Thanks!

Offline Blackstar

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Thank you for those. They are really nice.

Offline Star One

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Thanks for those photos, it certainly looks a hefty size.

Offline savuporo

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Finally, someone is going back to the moon. Its been 37 years now.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Yes, its been way too long. I hope the Chinese do a live broadcast of the landing.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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