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China asks the world to help name moon rover of Chang’e-4 lunar probe

(People's Daily Online)    08:10, August 17, 2018

Photo shows the exterior of the Chang’e-4 lunar probes lander. (Photo/Lunar Exploration and Aerospace Engineering Center of State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense)

On August 15, 2018, China launched a campaign to pick a name for the Chang’e-4 lunar probe moon rover, which will be sent to the moon this December. The exterior designs of the Chang’e-4 lander and moon rover were also released for the first time at the launching ceremony in Beijing.

The mission of the lunar probe in December will mark the first soft landing and inspection of the far side of the moon by a human probe.

Over the past 60 years, humankind has launched over 100 lunar probes, which have taken 65 landers to the moon. However, none have managed to land on the far side of the moon, while only the unmanned lunar orbiter and the manned spacecraft Apollo have captured images of it, according to Liu Jizhong, deputy commander-in-chief of the lunar exploration project.

Upon the successful mission carried out by Chang’e-3 lunar probe, and to make the most of the existing products and conditions, scientists have created a plan for implementation of the lunar probe after in-depth discussions.

Blocked by itself, the far side of the moon has so far been difficult to measure.

On May 21, the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) was launched, which will provide relay communication support between the earth and the lander and moon rover while they are on the moon.

Scientists have adapted and adjusted the configuration of the Chang’e-4 moon rover to better handle the complex conditions on the far side of the moon, the new demand of relay communication and the requirement of scientific goals. However, the basic conditions of the new moon rover will be similar to Yutu, the moon rover of Chang’e-3 lunar probe.

According to Liu, its hoped that the campaign will not only find a great name for the moon rover, but also display China’s national image in lunar exploration and aerospace engineering while inspiring Chinese people, especially younger generations, to get involved in scientific exploration and innovation.

The worldwide campaign will run in five phases, beginning with the submission stage which will last until September 5, the preliminary selection, online voting for the three best names, final choice and the reveal of the final name in October.

Photo shows an image of the Moon rover of Chang’e-4 lunar probe. (Photo/Lunar Exploration and Aerospace Engineering Center of State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense)   

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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