Beijing plans to launch a Lunar spacecraft on a journey lasting 196 hours that should take it around the Moon before returning and re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It will carry a 14 kg payload known as 4M-LXS which was developed at LuxSpace. The launch is expected to take place on October 23, 2014 at 1800 UT.
4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in memory of Professor Manfred Fuchs, founder and chairman of OHB group, Bremen who passed away on April 27, 2014.
The 4M-LXS amateur radio payload will transmit on 145.980 MHz +/- 2.9kHz (-40°C to +125°C), Doppler max: -2200Hz, +1000Hz. The continuous transmissions will start 4670s (77.8 minutes) after launch (-0, +600s). Five successive 1 minute sequences are sent during the 5 minutes cycle. The digital mode JT65B will be used, this can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software, there will also be ‘human readable’ tone transmissions. See the transmit sequence description on page 14 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.
During the lunar flyby, the range will be 399,636 km at the most and the distance to the Moon will be between 12,000 and 24,000 km depending on the final injection vector. The transmitter produces 1.5 watts to a simple Monopole antenna which should give a Signal to Noise ratio ( S/N) comparable to amateur moon bounce (EME) signals at the Earth’s surface.
LuxSpace wish to encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category. Details are given on page 19 of 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment.
A Java client will be made available to automatically send the WSJT ALL.TXT and the decoded.txt files to a central database.
The orbiter is one of the test models for Beijing’s new lunar probe Chang’e-5, which will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth. The launch is aimed at testing the technologies that are vital for the success of Chang’e-5. The orbiter will be launched into Lunar Transfer Orbit (LTO) then will perform a flyby around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere after 196 hours (9 days).
The orbiter arrived by air in Xichang, Sichuan on Sunday, August 10 and was then transported to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
Read the paper 4M Mission: a Lunar FlyBy experiment
EME 2014 slides: 4M, A Moon Flyby Mission
LuxSpace Sarl on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LuxSpaceSarl
Beijing to test recoverable moon orbiter
IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Pages http://amsat.org.uk/iaru
Free WSJT Software http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/
OHB mourning the loss of its founder Manfred Fuchs