China plans to launch a relay satellite into house subsequent Monday, May 21, for the Chang’e-Four lunar probe scheduled later this yr.
The Chang’e-Four lunar probe will undertake the primary ever mushy touchdown on the far aspect of the Moon. However, direct communication with the far aspect of the Moon is just not doable, which is likely one of the many challenges of the Chang’e-Four lunar probe mission.
The relay satellite, named Queqiao, will likely be accountable for transmitting indicators between the Earth station and the Chang’e-Four lander and rover.
Relay satellites are communication satellites that may present knowledge relay and monitoring companies for spacecraft, bettering the effectivity and emergency functionality of varied satellites. They additionally allow knowledge from earth useful resource and environmental satellites to be transmitted in actual time.
The Chang’e-Four probe may even carry scientific payloads for 4 nations, together with the Netherlands and Germany.