Chang’e 5 has quietly departed from the Sun-Earth L1 point to enter a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) of the Moon, a first.
Pre-empting NASA’s planned 1st use of the orbit during Exploration Mission 1 later this year.
Silence from China.
In mid August 2021, the Chang’e 5 service module without any notice was noted to not be on station near the Sun-Earth L1 point where it had been since mid-March 2021. Observers were quick to reacquire the spacecraft’s X-band beacon and it was not long before it was clear from the data that Chang’e 5 was headed back to the Earth-Moon system where it would ultimately enter a Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) of the Moon.
Continue reading “Chang’e 5 Returns to the Moon”
There has been a recent surge in interest in a software package written by Cees Bassa known as ‘strf’, Sattools Radio Frequency. Once over the initial installation and basic usage hump users quickly reach a wall about how to use the software because of a limited understanding of orbital dynamics. I hope this brief post will help users understand some of the basic concepts so they can use strf as a tool.
Continue reading “Basic Orbital Dynamics”
Xinhua reported today that Chang’e 4 entered lunar orbit at about 08:39 UTC on Dec 12th. No amateur observers reported observing the event; however, three highly competent amateur observers in Europe shared observations hours after the lunar orbit insertion burn was executed. No evidence of a signal from Chang’e 4 has been noted since my loss of signal earlier on Dec 12th. I later conducted similar observations and searched around the Moon for the signal and found nothing we can relate to Chang’e 4. Only signals from Chang’e 5T-1 and Queqiao where noted.
[UPDATED – Dec 13th, 2018] Continue reading “Eating Static from the Moon…”