Harbin Institute of Technology

Microsatellite Independently Developed by HIT Successfully Achieves Circumlunar Flight. Payloads Initiated Successfully also.

Updated: 2018/06/25

Written by: State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
Translated by: Wu Han
Date: June 20th, 2018

HIT News (text: State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense)  Recently "Longjiang 2", the lunar orbit ultra-long wave astronomical observation microsatellite, developed independently by HIT entered the orbit of the moon.  Carrying Saudi cameras and other payloads were all successfully initiated. On June 14th, 2018 China and Saudi Arabia jointly released moon images taken by the Saudi cameras.

At 5:00 a.m. on May 21st, 2018, two lunar orbit ultra-long wave astronomical observation microsatellites along with the "Queqiao" relay satellite in Chang'e 4 mission were successfully launched at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. After 113 hours of flight, the brakes at perilune were successfully implemented May  25th at 10:00 p.m.  The "Longjiang 2" microsatellite’s lunar orbit ranges from a closest point of 350 kilometers from the moon’s surface to the farthest point, 13,700 kilometers from the lunar surface.  HIT became the first university in the world to send micro- spacecraft into lunar orbit.

The two microsatellites participating in this scientific experiment are "Longjiang 1" and "Longjiang 2".  They have a combined mass of only 47 kilograms. In order to give priority to the protection of payloads and propellants, the propulsion system, the satellite-and-rocket separation structure, and the antenna structure were all new  designs from HIT laboratories . "Longjiang 1" experienced abnormal control during the earth-moon transfer orbital flight and did not enter the lunar orbit. However, "Longjiang 2" successfully entered the lunar orbit and became the world's first microsatellite that has independently finished the tasks of earth-moon transfer, brakes at perilune, and circumlunar flight.

The "Longjiang 2" microsatellite is equipped with a low-frequency radio detector developed by the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a small lunar optical imaging detector (optical camera) developed by King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia and other scientific payloads. The low-frequency radio detector was turned on for the first time on May 26th, 2018 and began to detect spectral information of 1–30 MHz and comprehensively carry out tests and scientific research such as an all-sky radiation spectrum. On May 28th,  2018 the Saudi optical camera was turned on for the first time and successfully captured visible light images on the moon's surface.


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