To make clear, a “soft landing” is “the touchdown of an area car on a celestial physique or on Earth in such a method as to stop injury or destruction of the car.” Simply put, it is the other of a crash touchdown. What makes a touchdown on the far aspect of the Moon particularly tough is that it is harder to maintain contact with the spacecraft, since, you already know, there’s an whole celestial physique blocking the alerts between the craft and mission management. To treatment this, a relay satellite tv for pc (named “Queqiao”) shall be put into orbit to help Chang’e Four in touchdown and transmitting knowledge again to Earth.
According to SpaceNews.com, the touchdown web site has already been chosen: “The Chang’e-4 spacecraft will target a landing region within the South Pole-Aitken Basin, a vast impact crater of immense scientific interest, with potential landing areas previously identified in and around the Von Kármán crater.” Interestingly, the rover’s payload is not restricted to cameras and devices: it’s going to even be carrying potato seeds, silkworm eggs, and seeds for the flowering plant arabidopsis which is able to, hopefully, create a tiny ecosystem for scientists to review.
It’s been introduced that there shall be a contest to call the rover (ending September fifth) however – like the naming contest for Queqiao – it is unlikely to be open to English-speakers… Which might be for one of the best, contemplating the masterminds behind “Boaty McBoatface” are nonetheless on the market.