Why are satellites not used in China

China wants "behind the moon"

In preparation for the first landing on the far side of the moon, China launched a transmission satellite. A Long March 4C rocket lifted off from the Xichang Space Center in Sichuan Province in southwest China. Around 25 minutes after take-off, the satellite was successfully deployed and on its way to the earth's satellite, as China's space agency (CNSA) reported.

"Behind the moon" is quiet

China aims to be the first nation to land on the far side of the moon in about six months. In order to transmit the signals from the unmanned landing module "Chang'e 4" to earth with a robotic vehicle, the relay satellite is brought to a point behind the moon where it can see both the opposite side of the moon and the earth. The celestial body called "Queqiao" is supposed to search for quiet radio signals from the beginnings of the universe in the quiet lunar environment.

The exploration is a collaborative project with the Netherlands, which developed the low radio frequency receiver (NCLE). Without the earth's atmosphere and other disturbances, astronomers can better pick up signals in the silence of space and hope for new knowledge about the formation of stars. With the launch, the rocket also brought the two Chinese microsatellites "Longjiang" 1 and 2 into space, which independently conduct their own radio astronomical research.

Simply magical

While the landing module "Chang'e 4" is named after the Chinese moon goddess, "Queqiao" is translated as "Bridge of Magpies" and is reminiscent of an old Chinese fairy tale. In it, magpies spread their wings and thus form a bridge on the seventh night of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar, via which Zhi Nu, the seventh daughter of the Queen of Heaven, can go to her beloved husband, who is separated from her by the Milky Way.

It doesn't look particularly cozy on the back of the moon

China has been pursuing an ambitious lunar program for ten years. After landing on the back of the moon, a mission is expected in 2019 that will also bring rocks back to earth.

The Chinese project would then take place exactly 50 years after the first manned moon landing by the USA, when Neil Armstrong was the first person to step on the surface of the earth's satellite on July 21, 1969. According to the Chinese plans, a Chinese should land on the moon for the first time by 2030.

haz / mak (dpa, afp)