Both China and India have made some significant progress with their Moon landers, Chang’e 4 and Chandrayaan-2 respectively. China’s Chang’e 4 launched on January the 3rd this year and India Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-2 will be sent off to the Moon on July the 15th. Since they are both lunar missions and are being at the beginning of their journeys, let’s look at some of their similarities and differences!
Chang’e 4 is a rather special mission. China has made history as it became the first country ever to deploy a spacecraft on the far side of the lunar surface. The same move is expected from India’s Chandrayaan-2. The far side of the Moon is also known as the ‘South Pole – Aitken Basin.’ The place is still an enigma for astronauts and researchers, and the accomplishment of sending space rovers to the basin is viewed as a historical one.
China’s Chang’e-4 Mission
Chang’e-4 expedition is China’s fourth lunar mission. The program is being named after the Chinese Moon goddess, and it follows the successful tasks performed by Chang’e-1, Chang’e-2 and Chang’e-3 probes in 2007, 2010 and 2013 respectively. The total mass of Chang’e-4 spacecraft is approximately 3,780 kilograms, while the lander weighs about 1,200 kilograms and the rover around 140 kilograms.
The expedition is constructed of two separate elements: the lander, the rover, and a convey of satellites. The lander is geared with a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to power the operations. The energy produced will be used to operate scientific loading and seven tools and cameras. The rover carrying the mission to explore the lunar surface after splitting from the lander is equipped with a solar panel which is responsible for powering the vehicle during the expedition.
Chang’e 4’s will land on Von Karman Crater in the South Pole – Aitken Basin. The whole covers almost a quarter of the Moon’s surface.
India’s Chandrayaan-2 Mission
Chandrayaan-2 is India’s second expedition to the Moon, and it follows the Chandrayaan-1 mission. Chandrayaan-2 will launch from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota aboard GLSV Mk-III on July the 15th. The rocket will be propelled to an Earth parking 170 x 40,400 kilometers orbit.
The Chandrayaan-2 expedition includes three elements: the rover, the lander, and the orbiter. Before the actual landing, images of the site will be captured to determine a safe and hazard-free zone. After landing on the Moon’s surface, the lander will split from the orbiter to conduct a series of intricate movements composed of tough and fine braking.
The lander, dubbed Vikram, will land near the Moon’s South Pole on September the 6th, 2019. Following the lander, the rover will deploy and perform a few experiments on the lunar surface of a period of one lunar day, which equals 14 days on Earth. Furthermore, the orbiter will continue with its mission, which is scheduled to last a year.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.