Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 13-16 January 2017

Mysteries Of The Moon: Continued Studies On Lunar Age, Dust, Formation, Evolution

Newest Theory On Earth’s Closest Celestial Neighbor Suggests Luna May Have Been Created 4.51B Years Ago, According To Apollo 14 Sample Study By Melanie Barboni & UCLA Team; Pinpointing Moon Age Helps Narrow Down When Earth Became Habitable; Recent Lunar Formation Simulation By Hagai Perets Of Technion-Israel Institute Shows Moon May Have Been Formed By Many Impacts Creating Moonlets That Merged; NASA Reports Lunar Horizon Glow Observed By Apollo Astronauts & Surveyor 5, 6, 7 Is Likely Caused By Micron-Sized Dust Particles Jumping Several Centimeters Under UV Radiation Or Exposure To Plasmas; Returning To Moon For Hands-On Lunar Surface Studies Needed To Fill In Knowledge Gaps

Credits: NASA, UCLA, Hagai Perets

Friday / 24 June 2016

China Chang’e-5 Propulsion System Completing Tests, Hainan Spaceport Maiden Launch 26 June

China Human Moon, CE5

CE-5 Sample Return Mission On Track For 2017 Launch With Lander, Rover, Orbiter Completing Final Propulsion System R&D, General Assembly & General Testing At CASC; China In Prime Position To Help Lead Effort To Put Humans On Moon With Inaugural Hainan Spaceport / Moonport Launch Of Long March 7 On 26 June, Development Of Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch NET Sep, Long March 5 Launch Sep-Oct, Tiangzhou-1 Crewed Launch Apr 2017, CE-4 In 2018, CE-6 In 2020

Credit: CASC, CNSA, China.org.cn, Xinhua, CCTV News

Friday / 17 June 2016

13th International Planetary Probe Workshop Highlighting Innovative Ideas For Lunar Exploration

LED-6-16-16

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Meeting In Laurel, Maryland June 13-17 Features Talks By Alan Stern PI Of New Horizons & Ellen Stofan NASA Chief Scientist; Includes Presentations By Robert Buchwald (TR) Of Airbus On ‘Prospecting And Returning Lunar Surface Samples With Volatiles’ And By Balaji Soundararajan, Masters Student (Space Engineering) at Technical University Berlin On ‘Autonomous UAV for Lunar Inspection’ & ‘Lunar Ballistic Robot Exploration’

Credit: JHU/APL, GSFC, NASA,R. Buchwald, B. Soundararajan,

Wednesday / 1 June 2016

China Advancing Ambitious Lunar Plans, Strong Policy Support For Civil & Commercial Space Programs

LED-5-31-2016

CNSA Secretary General Tian Yulong Provides Details Of 2017 Chang’e-5 Mission; In Addition To Landing And Sample Return, Probe To Conduct Systematic Exploration Of North & South Poles From Orbit; Tian Also Notes Recent Discussions With ESA On Moonbase / Human Mission Cooperation; Draft Of 1st China Astronautical Law And “China’s Space Flight” White Paper Expected By End Of Year; Release Of Regulations / Other Documents Is In Preparation For Multiple Space Missions During 13th Five-Year Plan Period 2016 – 2020 And To Support Continued Development In The Aerospace Industry

Credit: CNSA, Beihang University

Weekend Edition
Fri-Mon / 6-9 May 2016

China Prepares For 2017 Chang’e-5 Sample Return While Taking Proactive Steps For Human Mission

Change Human Missions

Chang’e-6 Could Serve As Precursor Accelerating China ~2030 Human Moon Mission Goal After CE5 Sample Return In 2017 Tests Related Technologies / Equipment; China Academy Of Space Technology Pang Zhihao States “Manned Lunar Spacecraft Will Be Different”; CE4 To Explore Moon Far Side NET 2018, May Carry Radio Telescope For Astronomy States Zou Yongliao Of Chinese Academy Of Sciences; CE3 Continues As Sole Operational Surface Mission; CE2 Orbiter Scouted Proposed Landing Sites; CE1 Inaugural Mission First Great Step

Credit: China Academy of Space Technology, China Academy of Sciences

Friday / 29 January 2016

Long March 5 Maiden Flight Planned For Sep-Oct, Will Carry Chang’e-5 In 2017

China Rockets

China Long March 5 Heavy-Lift Rocket With Maximum Payload Capacity Of 14,000kg To GTO Is Being Set Up For Launch Rehearsal, Tested & Assembled At Wenchang Satellite Launch Center (19°N) On Hainan Island In Preparation For Sep-Oct Initial Flight According To Lei Fanpei (CASC); Rocket Launching From Hainan To Loft Chang’e-5 Lunar Sample Return Mission In 2017; Long March 7 Medium-Heavy Rocket Maiden Flight Planned For June, Will Launch Future Cargo For Next-Gen China Space Station

Credit: CASC, Bing Map, sinodefence, CALT, NASA

Tuesday / 15 December 2015

China Chang’e-3 Spacecraft Enters Year 3 On Moon; Honorary Currency Celebrates China National Spaceflight

12152015Currently In Lunar Night 25 Chang’e-3 (CE-3) Expected To Awaken 21 Dec & Begin Lunar Day 26 Operations; First Long-Term Robotic Observatory Lunar-based Ultraviolet Telescope (LUT) On CE-3 Continues To Gather Images Of Galaxies / Binary Stars / Deep Space With Fewer Limitations Than Earth Due To The Thin Exosphere; Chinese Lunar Exploration Program Has 3 Phases: Orbiting CE-1 & CE-2 / Landing CE-2 & CE-4 (To Far Side NET 2018) / Sample Return CE-5 (Slated For 2017) & CE-6; China’s Central Bank Commemorates Chang’e-1 On Currency (Bill & Coin) 2015 Banknote Reads “Chinese Spaceflight Commemorative”

Credit: People’s Bank of China, CNSA, CAST, CLEP, NASA

Thanksgiving Edition
Thu-Mon / 26-30 November 2015

China Lunar Exploration Program,
Chang’e Missions 1-6 May Enable 2020s Human Missions

Chang'e-1-6

China Momentum For CE-5 Sample Return Mission 2017, CE-4 Lander / Rover / Orbiter To Far Side 2018, Potential CE-6 Sample Return 2020, And Possible 2020s Human Moon Missions Fueled By Success Of China Lunar Exploration And Technology Development Including CE-1 & 2 Orbiters, CE-3 Lander & Yutu Rover, CE-5-T1 Return Capsule, Long March Family Of Rockets & Newly Developing Spaceport On Hainan Island; China Well Positioned To Become 2nd Country To Land Humans On Moon

Table of China Lunar Program produced by ILOA / SPC

Credit: NAOC-CAS, CNSA, CCTV, Xinhua News Agency

Thursday / 5 November 2015

Moonspike May Continue Efforts To Reach Moon, Other Private Ventures Advancing

11052015US$122K Raised From Over 1,000 Supporters Fell Short Of Crowdfunding Goals For Moonspike Spacecraft & Rocket To Crash-Land On The Lunar Surface;  Moonspike Founder Chris Larmour States “We Are Going To Spend Some Time Reviewing Our Options”; Britain Commercial Lunar Mission One Raised Over US$1.3M & Planning To Land Probe On Moon Surface & Drill 20-100 Meters For Samples To Return To Earth By 2024; Israel SpaceIL GLXP Team Set a US$240K Campaign Goal – One Dollar For Every Mile To The Moon, Team Secured Launch Services With Spaceflight Industries To Launch NLT 2017

Credit: Moonspike, Lunar Mission Ltd., SpaceIL

Friday / 30 October 2015

China Planning Chang’e-5 Lunar Sample Return & 1st Ever Landing On Far Side With Chang’e-4

Chang'e Program

Chang’e-5 Being Developed For 2017 Mission While 5-T1 Test Service Module Remains In Lunar Orbit Gathering Data On Landing Sites & Rendezvous Procedures; Chang’e-4 Lander & Rover With Numerous Advanced Instruments To Launch Before 2020 To Far Side, With Relay Orbiter Launched ~2018 To L2; Chang’e-3 At 44.12°N 19.51°W In Lunar Day 24 Successfully Operating 1st Robotic Telescope On Moon; Zou Yongliao From Chinese Academy Of Sciences States “If We Can Place A Frequency Spectrograph On The Far Side, We Can Fill A Void [In Astronomy With Chang’e-4]”

Credit: Xinhua, CNSA, CSA, CCTV, China Space Website