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Chang’e-4 launch set for December

China has now scheduled the launch of its Chang’e-4 lunar rover/lander, aimed for the first landing on the Moon’s far side, for sometime this coming December.

They will use China’s Long March 3B rocket, not the bigger Long March 5. As is usual for China, many details about the mission remain secret. The exact landing area has not been announced, other than somewhere in the very large South Pole/Aitken Basin area. The exact date has not been announced, other than sometime in December.

Their planned sample return mission, Chang’e-5, is now set for launch in 2019, “should the Long March 5 rocket be proven ready for flight later this year.”

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

One comment

  • Localfluff

    Especially the ground penetrating radar on the rover will be great, if it rolls much further this time than last time.

    To land at a pole, I would think that a s.k. Molniya orbit is preferred for a communications relay satellite. I.e. simply a highly eccentric polar orbit with apoapsis above the surface lander so that it only briefly disappears out of line of sight. The Chinese are using a halo orbit instead, which is great for the far side but not for the poles. But China clearly is the world leader in Moon exploration now. With LOP-G NASA has demonstrated that they don’t have any interest in the Moon whatsoever. NASA’s goal is literally to never ever land on the Moon. They are ashamed of the Apollo project or something.

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