NASA lunar orbital probe made the first pictures of the China Chang'e-4 station - two pixels of light

    On February 6, 2019, NASA showed the first photographs taken by the LRO probe of the landing site of the Chang'e-4 descent vehicle on the far side of the moon.

    The satellite relay Tseuqiao also pleased us with an interesting snapshot of the Moon and Earth from the removal of 70,000 km from Chang'e-4.

    At the same time, the Yuytu-2 rover continues its march on the surface (more than 70 meters already skated on the Moon).

    Launched by NASA on June 18, 2009, the lunar orbital probe (LRO) continues to be used to obtain a large amount of valuable scientific information.

    Current elliptical orbit LRO (40x199 km) with the nearest point of the orbit at the South Pole

    By NASA data on LRO installed modular LROC chamber (The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera) be the principal optical camera for taking photographs of the lunar surface with a resolution of up to half by which will look for suitable places for landing manned expeditions.

    LROC consists of three cameras: a low-resolution camera (WAC) and two high-resolution cameras (NAC), the first of which is intended for obtaining general terrain plans, and the other two are for high-resolution photographs.

    The modules of the lunar project "Chang'e-4" are located in the crater Karman.

    The diameter of the crater Karman is 186 km, its maximum depth reaches 3 km. It is a very ancient shock formation. The crater Carman is over 4 billion years old.

    An image of Karman's crater, overlaid with a photo taken by the Chang'e-4 during landing:

    The LRO probe flew past Karman's crater on January 30, 2019 (the probe had to be turned 70 degrees to the west in order to take a picture of the surface in the landing area “Chang'e-4”, since during normal shooting the surface of the probe chamber is directed straight down, but it flew too far east of the target, so that it would hit the frame) and photographed the larger module of the Chang'e-4 project from a distance of 330 km (from the east).

    Thank you Lexxnech for the comment .

    But even from this distance, the Chang'e-4 landing platform occupies only two pixels in the image and looks like a bright white dot, and the large crater is left in the middle of a photo 3900 meters wide and 600 meters deep: The

    large crater on the right under the arrows has a width of 440 meters :

    Photos from LRO in high resolution (141MB, full-resolution) can be viewed here .

    To understand the dimensions in the photo, the data on the Chang'e-4

    module : - the Chang'e-4 descent module (4.4 meters between the opposite landing legs, weight 1200 kg.);

    - Yuytu-2 rover (height 1 meter, width 1 meter (without solar batteries), 1.5 meters in length, two folding solar panels, six wheels, weight 140 kg.).

    And here is how the LRO probe earlier took pictures of the Chang'e-3 modules on the visible side of the moon.

    We are still waiting for new photos from NASA if they can bring the LRO probe to a more successful trajectory for obtaining data at a slightly higher resolution, at least as from Chang'e-3.

    The updated map of the route of the “Yuuta-2” rover along the lunar surface also appeared, and its movements after the moonlit night were added:

    As you can see, the six-wheeled “Yuuta-2” rover traveled more than 70 meters across the surface of the moon, carefully avoiding obstacles.

    I really hope that in the near future the fate of the first “Yuuta” rover will not suffer.

    The satellite transponder "Tseuqiao" sent an interesting photo:

    The main problem is that the reverse side is never visible from Earth, due to the phenomenon of tidal capture. This means that there must be a satellite outside the moon for transmitting messages between ground tracking stations and the spacecraft.

    The Tseutqiao repeater satellite (triage bridge), launched in May 2018, operates in halo-orbit around a special gravitationally stable Lagrange point L2, from which it can maintain direct visibility with the Earth and the lunar back side at any time for the organization radio communication project "Chang'e-4".


    The Chinese portal "System of publications and collection of scientific data and studies of the lunar and deep space" has also earned, on which the obtained data and images from Chang'e-4 (and earlier missions) will be published and processed.
    The path to the portal :

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