Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 38

Space Exploration

p FARSIDE Chang'e 5 T1 took this image of the lunar farside and distant Earth in 2014, as it looped around the Moon in a test flight for future
orbiter and sample-return missions.

Chinese scientists have opened a call to both domestic and
international institutions for science payloads.
Another emerging target for China is an interstellar
project along the lines of NASA's Voyager missions. Although
there is no fortuitous planetary alignment such as that which
provoked the Voyagers' Grand Tour of the outer solar system,
two 200-kilogram Interstellar Heliosphere Probes will launch
around 2024 and use flybys of Jupiter to target the head and
tail of the heliosphere, respectively. The latter will also release
an impactor during a Neptune flyby before flashing past a
yet-to-be-determined Kuiper Belt object. Science objectives

Chang'e 4

VON KÁRMÁN Chang'e 4 landed in the 186-km-wide
crater Von Kármán in January 2019. At least one lava
flood has covered the crater's floor, as well as ejecta
from nearby impacts.

38

JUNE 2 02 0 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

for the mission include determining whether the tail of the
heliosphere is open or closed, studying the wall of hydrogen
atoms at the heliopause, and investigating the processes
that accelerate ions at the heliosphere's boundary to become
anomalous cosmic rays.
A dedicated mission to the outer solar system will come in
2030 with the planned launch of a Jupiter orbiter, which will
follow the trail blazed by NASA's Galileo and Juno missions.
It will target the Jovian moons, shedding light on how the
lunar system formed. The mission is expected to be given the
name Gan De, for the Chinese astronomer in the 4th century
BC who made some of the most detailed early observations of
Jupiter and, it is claimed, even observed Ganymede without
optical aid.
The variety of missions and their capabilities and destinations - comets, asteroids, inner and outer planets, and even
interstellar space - suggests that China is looking to match
many of the exploration achievements of established spacefaring nations. But, as demonstrated by the Chang'e 4 lunar

FA RSIDE: CNSA; L A NDING SITE: FA RSIDE A ND VON
K Á R M Á N: N ASA / GSFC / A RIZON A STATE UNIV.

After detecting more than a billion cosmicray events, DAMPE data showed more
than the expected amount of particles with
energies around 1.4 teraelectron volts - a
possible signature of dark matter.



Sky & Telescope - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - June 2020

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Sky & Telescope - June 2020 - 1
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