Executive Intelligence Review


China’s BeiDou Launch Clears Way for Chang’e-4 Mission to Far Side of the Moon

Nov. 20, 2018 (EIRNS)—On Nov. 18 China launched two more BeiDou satellites—numbers 42 and 43—on time, clearing the way for an early December launch of the Chang’e-4 mission to the far side of the Moon. The BeiDou launch means that preparation for the lunar mission can proceed, because this highly complex mission will use the same launch site as the navigational satellites. In total, nine BeiDou satellites were launched this year.

Although no official launch date has been announced, China space watchers and people in the Chinese program indicate that Dec. 8 in Beijing (Dec. 7 in U.S.) is a likely launch date. The landing of Chang’e-4 on the far side of the Moon would then take place, reports Andrew Jones at GBTimes, in late December or early January when the Sun rises over the targeted landing area in Von Karman crater, at the beginning of a 14-Earth-day lunar day of sunlight over the landing area.