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本周末,中国踏上了历史使命,在月球上降落的那一边

新, 7注释

如果成功,这将是世界上第

The far side of the Moon as seen from Apollo 16
图片:NASA

周六凌晨在中国,火箭将推出,携带着陆器和开往月球流动站。这将标志着被称为嫦娥-4,这将尝试土地飞船在月球的远侧中国雄心勃勃的探月任务的开始 - 总是面临着远离地球的区域。没有一个国家曾经尝试这样的壮举 - 这意味着该任务可以弹射到中国航天史。

So far, China is among an elite group of three countries that have landed a spacecraft softly on the surface of the Moon. Apart from America’s notable Apollo missions, the former Soviet Union also landed robotic spacecraft on the lunar surface, with the last mission occurring in 1976. In 2013, China entered the fray, putting a lander and a rover on the Moon. That mission, known as Chang’e-3, was part of a decades-long campaign that China devised to study the Moon with robotic spacecraft. Prior to Chang’e-3, the country had put a spacecraft in lunar orbit and had also crashed a vehicle into the lunar dirt. Now, the next step is to visit a part of the Moon that’s never been fully explored.

这是一个显著的一步,因为登月的另一边是一个非常具有挑战性的任务。月亮潮汐是地球锁定,这意味着它围绕其轴线大约需要完成绕地球一个完整的轨道的同时旋转。其结果是:我们只看到月亮的一半在任何时候。月亮的这一侧附近的是,我们已经降落在轻轻的,因为这里的视线与地球直接线,实现与地面控制更容易沟通的唯一地区。要在土地far月球的一面,你必须有多个航天器的协同工作。除了着陆器本身,你需要靠近月球某种探头,可以从着陆器到地球中继通信。

而这正是中国有。今年五月,中国国家航天局推出了一项名为鹊桥卫星,专门用于为即将到来的嫦娥4使命通信协助的目的。大约一个月的空间之后,鹊桥落户到距离月球表面面对月亮的那一边,37000多英里远的地方。该卫星是做围绕被称为第二地月拉格朗日点空间中的点圈。这是类似于一个停车位航天器的地方。在拉格朗日点,两个机构(恒星,行星等)的引力以这样的方式,一个飞船停留投入相对于两个实体等于出来。在这个特别的拉格朗日点,鹊桥会留面向月球的里侧,使航天器和地球之间的通信采用了大的弯曲天线。

“这表明,你可以沟通和使用中继卫星将是相当的技术壮举在月球远侧进行巡回,并且它会带来很高的声望,”安德鲁·琼斯,一个自由撰稿人覆盖中国的航天计划,告诉线上金莎投注网The Verge.

长征-4C火箭携带的鹊桥(“鹊桥”)卫星在西昌西南西昌发射中心发射升空,中国在2018年5月21日,西南省份四川 - 中国5月21日推出了通信中继卫星,将允许漫游车以前所未有的使命在今年晚些时候发送从月球的远端图像。
长征-4C火箭携带的鹊桥(“鹊桥”)西南西昌发射中心卫星在西昌,中国在2018年5月21日西南省份四川升空。
图片由法新社/盖蒂图片社

如果所有的作品,中国将越来越月球表面的最诱人的地区之一的近距离观点:南极 - 艾托肯盆地。它认为,嫦娥4着陆器和月球车将降落在这个区域内的冯卡门陨石坑,据琼斯,虽然确切的着陆点还没有得到证实。在南极 - 艾托肯盆地是月球的另一边那是在直径约1550英里和7.5英里深,大的​​撞击坑。它被认为是在月球表面上最古老的影响的网站之一,但我们不知道究竟线上金莎平台它有多老 - 和它的真实年龄可以告诉科学家很多关于早期太阳系。

大多数在月球上的陨石坑的被认为到3.9十亿年前,基于在NASA的阿波罗登月计划采集的月球岩石的分析已经形成各地。许多科学家认为,在一段被称为后期重轰炸期的太阳系发生这些孔 - 一个时期,一个巨大的小行星的数量冲入了内行星。它认为最在我们附近的宇宙行星已经形成后,本次发生,这就是为什么它被认为是“迟到”在我们的太阳系的发展。如果南极 - 艾托肯盆地也是3.9十亿岁,它支持这一轰击发生的想法。如果它比老得多,它把一个凹痕这一理论。“这实际上有助于我们理解不只是月球,但整个太阳系,”克莱夫·尼尔,在Notre Dame大学的工程学教授和名誉主席月球探测分析组,或LEAG,讲述The Verge. “That’s why it’s important; it’s bigger than the Moon.”

因为它有可能介绍一下我们的历史,南极 - 艾托肯盆地一直是研究的优先目标。科学家们建议,以便收集样品,并将它们返回地球,进行深入分析,飞船发送到这个区域。“在南极 - 艾托肯盆地是非常重要的,我们还是因为它太困难没有完成它,”尼尔说。

The South Pole-Aitken basin on the Moon
图片:美国亚利桑那州的NASA / GSFC /大学

Unfortunately, Chang’e-4 won’t be returning anything to Earth, so it probably won’t be able to tell us the exact age of the basin. But it should learn a few interesting tidbits. The Chang’e-4 rover will be carrying ground-penetrating radar to figure out what the structure of the Moon is like underneath the surface of the basin, which could tell us more about how this area formed. It will also have an instrument designed to figure out what the surface is made of in this region. And it’s carrying a Swedish instrument designed to figure out how particles streaming from the Sun interact with the lunar rocks.

同时,着陆器,它的任务是携带月球车到月球表面,也将是从它的着陆点做科学,同时其在月球的位置优势。线上金沙指定注册网址由于这些车将在月球上的那一边,他们会从很多从地球电磁干扰的屏蔽,不具备应对我们这个星球的大气层。着陆器将在研究低频空间环境和宇宙 - 这是我们无法从我们的星球做。

And of course, both the lander and the rover will carry cameras to take detailed images of the lunar surface, just as Chang’e-4’s predecessor, Chang’e-3, did. Much of the Chang’e-4 design is modeled after Chang’e-3, which landed on the nearside of the Moon and told scientists a great deal about an area known as the Imbrium basin. Hopefully, Chang’e-4’s rover will move farther than the rover on Chang’e-3, called Yutu, which stopped being able to travel after大约一个月.

While it’s definitely unique, Chang’e-4 is just one step in the ladder of China’s decade-long Chang’e mission plan (Chang’e is a goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology). Following this mission, China plans to launch another robotic mission to the Moon next year called Chang’e-5, which is designed to return samples from the nearside of the Moon. If successful, it’ll be the first time lunar material has been brought back to Earth since 1976. Beyond that, Neal thinks that a sample return from the far side of the Moon is on the horizon. “Chang’e-4 is a first step, and I’m sure it will raise more questions than it answers,” says Neal. “But showing the capability is there to land on the far side and rove, that tells us what’s the next step, and, as I say, robotic sample return would be the logical next step.”

嫦娥-4流动站的渲染
图片:中国的院院士科学线上金沙指定注册网址

在更远的将来,它可能是中国希望让人们在月球上,但它一直没有关于这些计划开放。琼斯说,中国似乎正在朝着载人飞行,通过开发一个新的巨大的运载火箭和概念的火箭可携带的人。“没有正式有政府批准的计划,把中国航天员送上月球,但是你可以看到,他们中的不同组件,你需要工作,”他说。线上金莎平台

Any human missions are still years away, and for now China is focused on Chang’e-4. But as is the case with many of China’s missions, the details surrounding this flight have been hard to come by. We know that the mission is set to launch on top of one of China’s Long March 3B rockets from the country’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center. And thanks to air closure notices, takeoff time is estimated to occur around 1:30PM ET on Friday, December 7th. China may only announce that the mission was a success after the spacecraft is on its way to the Moon, though Jones says we might hear earlier than that from other sources.

“这可能是我们推出的第一个迹象是,近西昌发射中心,一些可怜的灵魂被唤醒,想有一个地震和社交媒体抱怨它。”琼斯说。

If Chang’e-4 does make it to space, it will spend less than a month traveling to the Moon, likely touching down sometime in the first week of January. If that happens, China will have officially moved into its own elite group, as the only country to visit the side of the Moon we cannot see from Earth.