The spacecraft, which is part of China’s mission to restore Chang’o-5 2020, has been orbiting a unique moon more than a year after completing its primary mission.
The server module, which played a key role in delivering 1,731 kilograms of new lunar samples to Earth in December 2020, is now in far moon orbit (DRO), according to the amateur satellite tracker. China has not released updated information on Chiang’o-5’s activities since May 2021, when China’s Lunar Research Program released space probe footage from deep space.
In a distant retrograde orbit, a spacecraft touches two fixed gravitational regions in front and behind the Moon relative to the Earth. Because of the spacecraft’s distance from the moon It orbits the moon once every few weeks.
Such an orbit has never been used before, but NASA’s upcoming Artemis 1 mission is scheduled to begin later this year. The canceled Asteroid Redirect Mission also considered the use of DRO.
DRO is a stable long-range orbit of a very small mass object around the two smaller, much larger objects in a binary-body orbital system. Since the earth has a moon, one can put a spacecraft in the moon’s DRO. (2/n) https://t.co/AKhHDTnRz3 pic.twitter.com/nviDTfDchd
– Scott Tilly (@Coast8049) January 12 2022
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