Re: China on the Moon

Gerry - WA6E


What is the L2 point?  Is this like a satellite orbiting directly above the equator?  I'm trying to envision an orbit that would allow a satellite to see one hemisphere of the moon at all times.  I can see a highly elliptical orbit being able to see one side for a long period of the orbit, but not 100% of the time.


On 1/4/2019 4:14 AM, Mark Graybill wrote:
Good one Dennis. Look for Moon Mushrooms at a market near you soon.

Greg got it exactly right. The Chinese have a satellite orbiting the L2 point, which is on the far side of the moon, and that puts the satellite into what we call a 'halo' orbit. I always has a view of the far side.

Landing on the far side of the Moon gives the Chinese a 'first', as neither the US or the Russians ever landed anything there.

There is no direct military value to this mission. Other than showing off the Chinese launch and control capabilities. China's military goals are met directly, they don't hide behind science missions. They had 35 launches last year, many military.

They observe our satellites capably using ground and ship-based radars. Going 238,000 miles away to observe satellites that are ~100-400 miles above the surface would be counterproductive.

Mark, W8BIT

On Thu, Jan 3, 2019, 10:54 Dennis - WU6X <wu6x@...> wrote:
Personally, I think they will be growing mushrooms on a massive scale. These will be hallucinogenic and sold thru Chinese vegetable markets near you. 😊

From: <> on behalf of Greg D <ko6th.greg@...>
Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2019 10:19 AM
To:; gjbrent@...
Subject: Re: [from W6EK] China on the Moon
Hi Gerry,

The short answer to "How" is that they earlier sent another satellite
which remains in orbit around the Moon, and it acts as a relay.  I
believe that satellite also has a ham radio package on board, and many
have received the signals back here on Earth.  They do testing of it on
occasional weekends, but haven't recently probably because of the
landing operations.

As for "Why", I doubt it's for any direct military reasons.  As you
note, there's no direct view of the Earth from that site, and no obvious
targets farther out in space.  Indirectly, however, it's very certainly
a matter of Chinese pride and international prestige.  Sort of a space
race that they're playing with the rest of the world's space faring
nations.  It's also a national challenge of sorts, which benefits the
development of Chinese-owned technology, just as the original space race
of the 1960's led to complex integrated circuits, GPS satellites, smart
phones, and orange-flavored drinks of questionable heritage.

The "dark" side of the Moon, of course, isn't dark.  It's just not
visible from Earth.  When the side we face is dark, because it's facing
away from the Sun, then the back side is bathed in brilliant sunshine.
The phrase "Dark side of the Moon" is only significant as a record album

By the way, be sure to look skyward on the evening of Sunday, January
20th, when there will be a total eclipse of the Moon.  This is where the
Earth passes exactly in the way between the Sun and the Moon, casting
its shadow across the entirety of the Moon's surface.  Should be quite
something to watch.  The NC Astronomers club will be holding a "Star
Party" that evening at the intersection of Old Downieville Highway and
SR 49, just outside of Nevada City (a quick 30 minute drive from
Auburn).  All are welcome to attend and look through our telescopes at
the Moon, or whatever else might catch our attention in the night sky.

Greg  KO6TH

Gerry Brentnall wrote:
> In the news today is that the Chinese apparently landed a spacecraft
> on the dark side of the moon.  Other than wondering "why" they did
> that, I have a question for Mark and Greg and any others
> space/satellite interested:  How do they get their signals back to
> earth from the dark side of the moon?  That side never sees the earth
> and the high frequency signals they use for comm won't penetrate the
> moon.
> As to the "why," one article said they wanted a base on the moon for
> military purposes so they could look down on our high-orbit satellites
> and take them out in case of a conflict.  I can see that as an
> argument for a base on the side of the moon facing earth, but the dark
> side?  What am I missing?
> Gerry
> WA6E

Dennis - WU6X

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