Sunday, March 17, 2024

China Prepares to Launch Second Lunar Communications Satellite: Queqiao-2

China Prepares to Launch Second Lunar Communications Satellite: Queqiao-2

The Long March-8 Y3 rocket will launch the Queqiao-2 relay satellite from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site, Hainan Province, China. On March 17, 2024, the Long March-8 Y3 rocket and the Queqiao-2 relay satellite (Magpie Bridge-2) were vertically transferred to the launching area. Queqiao-2 will provide communications services for the Chang’e-4, Chang’e-6, Chang’e-7 and Chang’e-8 lunar missions.

Countdown has begun for the launch of China's relay satellite Queqiao-2 as the combination of the satellite and the Long March 8 Y3 carrier rocket was vertically transported on Sunday to the launch area at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan, said the China National Space Administration.

The final assembly and testing of the satellite for communications between the far side of the moon and the Earth has been completed after it was transported to the launch site in late February.

After being moved to the launch pad, engineers will carry out rocket check, the joint test work and the propellant filling before the launch in coming days.

Queqiao-2, or Magpie Bridge-2, will serve as a relay platform for the fourth phase of China's lunar exploration program, providing communications services for Chang'e-4, Chang'e-6, Chang'e-7, and Chang'e-8 missions.

Queqiao-1 was launched in 2018 and supported the Chang'e 4 lunar farside mission.

Credit: China Central Television (CCTV)/China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
Acknowledgements: SciNews

Duration: 1 minute, 27 seconds

Release Date: March 17, 2024

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