China has launched its relay satellite into space on next Monday. This satellite will be for the Chang’s-4 lunar probe and it will take the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon. China National Space Administration said the satellite was launched at 5:28 AM on a Long March-4C rocket from the Xichang launch center in the Southwest of the country.
The China’s satellite is named as Queqiao, which is responsible for the transmitting signals between the Earth station and the Chang’e-4 lander and rover. This satellite will be providing the data relay and monitoring services for the spacecraft, which will improve the efficiency and the emergency capability of the various satellites. They will also help in collecting data from the Earth resource and environmental satellite which can be sent in real time.
According to the Zhang Lihua, who is the manager of the relay satellite project said, “The launch is a key step for China to realize its goal of being the first country to send a probe to soft-land on and rove the far side of the Moon.” After the 25 minutes of the launch, the Queqiao spacecraft has separated from the upper stage of the rocket and it starts its next trip toward the halo orbit of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point L2. For the next months, this spacecraft will go under series of tests in order to ensure that it functions properly.
As the spacecraft will try to launch the Chang’e-4 on the far side of the of the Moon, the lander and the rover will not have a direct line of sight for the communications with the Earth. In order to establish the communication, the relay spacecraft at L2 will help in capturing the data from the Change 4 landers and it will then send the data back to the Earth. This satellite will be using the S-band and X-band frequencies in order to communicate.
The satellite, known as Queqiap or Magpie Bridge will be placed in an orbit which is around the 455,000 Km from the Earth and it will be the World’s first communication satellite which will be operating there. The main aim of China will it is trying to catch up with US and Russia in order to become a major space power by 2030.