鹊桥号中继卫星 Queqiao 2 Lunar Relay Satellite is expected to be launched in Wenchang in March 2024 from CNSA – China National Space Adminstration- Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center, Hainan Province, China, People’s Republic of China launched and deployed from the Chang Zheng- Long March 8 modified variant Carrier Rocket.. Designed to assistance communications between the far- Dark side of Earth’s Moon for further lunar
After completing the three-step tasks of “circling”, “landing” and “returning”, China’s lunar exploration project has entered the fourth phase. This phase has planned “Chang’e 4” (already implemented), “Chang’e 6”, “Chang’e 6” and “Chang’e 6”. “7” and “Chang’e 8” and other four missions will eventually lay the foundation for the construction of an international lunar scientific research station.
It is expected that in the first half of 2024, my country will organize and implement the “Chang’e-6” mission to implement sample return in the south pole-Aitken basin (SPA) on the far side of the moon. This will be a pioneering step for human lunar exploration. Because a human spacecraft has never carried out a sample return on the far side of the moon before. To complete the feat of back-lunar sampling and return, it is necessary to provide support for back-lunar communications. Since the “Queqiao” relay communication satellite has entered the end of its life, it is imperative to launch new relay satellites.
It is expected that in March 2024, the “Queqiao-2” relay communication satellite will be launched from the Wenchang launch site by the “Long March 8” carrier rocket. The satellite will be sent into the Earth-moon transfer orbit and then transferred to the orbit on its own. The “Queqiao-2” relay satellite has been upgraded on the basis of “Queqiao”. Its overall capabilities and level have been greatly improved, and its launch quality has nearly doubled. The “Queqiao-2” relay satellite weighs 1.2 tons, has an antenna diameter of 4.2 meters, and a design life of 8 years. The communication payload carried by the satellite includes a 4.2-meter-diameter X-band parabolic antenna inherited from “Queqiao” for communicating with the detector. It has no tracking device and points to the detector through the guidance navigation control system (GNC); a 0.6-meter-diameter S/Ka dual Frequency parabolic antenna used to transmit data to ground stations. Dual-axis tracking and pointing ground station; S-band antenna for measurement and control (TT&C); ultra-high frequency (UHF) relay antenna. As a relay communication satellite, “Queqiao 2” not only provides data and signal forwarding, but also forwards various instructions issued by the ground to the detector.
[Queqiao-2 Relay Star] The Queqiao-2 relay star weighs 1.2 tons, has an antenna of 4.2 meters, and a design life of 8 years. It is planned to be launched into the Earth-moon transfer orbit using the Long March 8 carrier rocket at the Wenchang launch site in March 2024. Queqiao Chang’e-2 will provide relay communication services for the Chang’e-6, 7, and 8 missions. Queqiao-2 also carries three scientific payloads: the extreme ultraviolet camera, the array neutral atom imager, and the Earth-Moon VLBI test system
In addition to its main mission of relay communications, “Queqiao 2” also undertakes additional detection missions and carries three scientific payloads: extreme ultraviolet camera, array neutral atom imager, and Very-long-baseline interferometry of the Earth and Moon. Interferometry, VLBI) test system.
After being put into operation, “Queqiao 2” will first serve the “Chang’e 6” mission, and then adjust its orbit at an appropriate time to provide services for “Chang’e 7”, “Chang’e 8” and subsequent lunar exploration missions. In addition, “Queqiao 2” will provide relay communication services for the “Chang’e 4” lander and the “Yutu 2” rover.
Via CNSA China Space Administration –CLEP China Lunar Exploration project management office