View: https://youtu.be/jdMQAfEIE0k


Tianwen-3: Mars Rover Collects and Returns Samples to Earth

CNSA Watcher - Archives
8 Mar 2024

Tianwen-3 Mars sample return mission demonstration video: The rover collects samples on the Martian surface (not just digging around the landing site), autonomously packages the samples and loads them into the ascent vehicle, which is then launched into orbit and rendezvous with the return combination. The combination obtains the samples carried by the ascent vehicle through a robotic arm, then launches back to Earth and parachutes into the landing module.

Source: https://m.weibo.cn/status/O3XxXmEz7
Tianwen 3 slips to 2030; three landing sites identified.

 
Hopefully this will lit a fire under NASA and Congress ar$es, to salvage MSR: presently stuck halfway into its development. Will be interesting to check the chinese MSR architecture and also their development costs.

I'd found it sad that with 50 years of MSR studies and false starts under their belt, NASA ends beaten by China at the MSR game.
 

A rare (first in 180 launches) Long March launch failure, or more accurately its Yuanzheng kick-stage, that was meant to send two satellites to a Lunar distant retrograde orbit

The latest TLEs show it in a 263x277 km parking orbit, although the TLE may be outdated, they won’t have much time to try to salvage the launch.

Hopefully this won’t affect the upcoming sample return Chang’e 6 and its relay queqiao 2

3 launch mishaps in a row these past days, uncommon.
 
Hopefully this will lit a fire under NASA and Congress ar$es, to salvage MSR: presently stuck halfway into its development. Will be interesting to check the chinese MSR architecture and also their development costs.

I'd found it sad that with 50 years of MSR studies and false starts under their belt, NASA ends beaten by China at the MSR game.
I think in the end NASA will end up conceding MSR to China, either by design or more likely due to circumstances outside their control now that they no longer have a strong planetary mission advocate in Congress.
 
For those wondering QUEQIAO-2 has chugged along just fine over the past few days. Here's the best details we have on trajectory. The relay satellite has been using ground stations in Argentina and China to communicate with Earth. Details in ⬇️

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1771734797200638444


Asteroid optical observers came up with a good state vector for QUEQIAO-2 I've noticed the mission has a pretty horrible internal oscillator. It does wobble a fair amount more than I've seen on earlier Chinese missions. This could effect locked comms, note long sweeping... ⬇️

The Espacio Lejano Station in the Neuquén Province of Argentina is in full use w/ QUEQIAO-2. Excellent fits to the 3-way Doppler data have been obtained. I used very wide 100Hz bins which explains size of residuals. W/ 1Hz bins the err would be subHz range.⬇️

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1771734806130315482


The data when run with Jiamusi Base in China produces a great match for the end of my QUEQIAO-2 passes. ⬇️

And here's the comparison of the unlocked 1-way Doppler data. As you can see QUEQIAO-2's internal oscillator is not shall be say 'wonderful'.

The official frequency of QQ2 is 2234.520MHz based on my calculations. ⬇️

View: https://twitter.com/coastal8049/status/1771734814359474184


The Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) burn appears to be scheduled for around 2024-03-24T17:00 UTC while as usual QUEQIAO-2 is high over China, I I have good confidence in this timing.

Anyone have any idea what the period of the "capture" orbit is? Not noted on released details.
 

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