Space travel: China launches important satellite for lunar missions

China has launched a satellite into space that is important for the upcoming lunar missions.

Space travel: China launches important satellite for lunar missions

China has launched a satellite into space that is important for the upcoming lunar missions. A Long March-8 Y carrier rocket carrying the Queqiao-2 relay satellite lifted off from the cosmodrome on the southern Chinese island of Hainan this morning, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

According to China's space agency CNSA, "Queqiao-2" will be used for communications for upcoming projects on Earth's satellite. In 2019, the People's Republic had already successfully placed the "Chang'e-4" probe on the moon and had previously launched the first "Queqiao" relay satellite into space, through which the spacecraft later transmitted images to Earth.

The relay satellite forms a communications triangle and allows the control center to send signals from Earth to the far side of the Moon. Queqiao means Bridge of Magpies. According to a Chinese folk tale, a weaver and a cowherd were united here.

Lunar exploration program has competition

This spring, China plans to land a probe on the south side of the moon with the "Chang'e-6" mission in order to take soil samples there. “Queqiao-2” will also help in this endeavor to ensure communication on the far side of the moon. The ruling Communist Party wants to have completed the People's Republic's first manned lunar mission, "Chang'e-8", by 2030.

The moon was no longer an issue for the major spacefaring nations for a long time. That has now changed: China's lunar exploration program competes with those of the USA, Japan and India. Recently, however, the Chinese space program suffered a setback when the Chinese satellites "DRO-A" and "DRO-B" missed their planned orbit after launching on Wednesday last week. According to media reports, the satellites apparently had the moon in their sights.

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