as you know, few days ago, the China National Space Administration sent its first rover, called Yutu, to the Moon. For this mission, China is helped by the +European Space Agency, ESA . Actually, after the liftoff of the China’s Chang’e 3 spacecraft, the ESA's network of tracking stations is providing a crucial support during all the Lunar cruise of the spacecraft. This mission is the third Chinese mission to the moon after the Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 lunar orbiter flights, launched in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
After its liftoff from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the country's Sichuan province, the ESA’s station in Kourou, French Guiana, started receiving signals from the spacecraft and uploading commands on behalf of the Chinese control center. This tracking is operated during the voyage to the Earth's moon. Next, during the descent and after the landing some other ESA's space stations will follow the rover Yutu mission.
The landing of Yutu is planned to be in the Sea of Rainbows on December 14th 2013. This landing will be the first since Russia’s Luna-24 in 1976. This mission is the second step of the China's lunar exploration program. That program consists of three major steps: Orbit, land and finally return some Moon rock samples to Earth by 2020.
Credits: China National Space Administration
Stay tunes for the next news during the phases of descend and landing on December 14th.
The NASA's space rover Curiosity which explores the Mars's land for 16 months has stopped the whole of the science operations and driving during six days. Actually, an electrical power system glitch had induced a system dysfunction on the space rover. Fortunately, the problem has now been resolved.
This dysfunction is the second trouble observed on the martian rover after an other one which has been observed and which has been assigned to radiation effects. For the moment the cause of this dysfunction has still not been found but the +NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers are working on it. “We made a list of potential causes, and then determined which we could cross off the list, one by one,” said rover electrical engineer Rob Zimmerman of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California.
For the moment, Curiosity has already accomplished its primary science goal of discovering a habitable zone at her landing site. This kind of dysfunction could be critical for the Curiosity mission, but the martian rover is safe now.
However, now, Engineers from the Kepler mission and Ball Aerospace have developed a way of keeping the stability of the spacecraft. The solution is based on the pressure provide by the Sun on the surface of spacecraft.
based on this solution the second life of Kepler will be start. The US space telescope which has increased the discovery of new planets since 2009 is the first telescope dedicated to the search for planets sisters of the Earth in other solar systems in our galaxy, the Milky Way. So far it has detected 2,740 potential exo-planets which 122 were confirmed to the day using telescopes and other equipment.
In last April, astronauts had announced the discovery by Kepler, two exoplanets with the greatest similarity to Earth ever recorded and where water could remain liquid and potentially allow life to exist.