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Laser sensors help ensure safe lunar landing of Chang'e-6 probe

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Laser sensors help ensure safe lunar landing of Chang'e-6 probe

2024-06-08 21:27 Last Updated At:06-09 00:02

Three laser sensors installed on the Chang'e-6 lunar probe played key roles in ensuring a safe and precise moon landing of the probe earlier this month, according to sensor designers.

The Chang'e-6 made a soft landing in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the moon on June 2 to bring back first samples from the far side of the moon.

The probe carried multiple navigational sensors, including a laser ranging sensor, a laser velocity sensor and a laser 3D imaging sensor, to serve as its eyes and ears in the landing process.

The laser ranging sensor sent pulses to the lunar surface during landing, calculating the distance to the surface by measuring the time it took the pulses to travel to the surface and return.

"It was the first set of equipment in (the Chang'e-6's) payload to be activated. It would start to operate when the probe was about 30 kilometers away from the lunar surface, and it would keep providing precise distance information for the Chang'e-6 the whole time until the probe made a soft landing," said Cheng Pengfei, deputy chief designer of the laser ranging sensor, in an earlier interview.

The laser velocity sensor was activated when the probe reached the three-kilometer point to the lunar surface to measure the descending speed. When the probe was right above the landing zone, its laser 3D imaging sensor was switched on to help select an ideal landing spot.

"When the Chang'e-6 lander was about 100 meters away from the lunar surface, it would hover above the moon. Our laser 3D imaging sensor would be turned on to conduct detailed 3D imaging detection of the lunar terrain at a 30-degree angle. It could achieve a five-centimeter accuracy in just 0.25 second. The purpose of this was to find a flat and safe landing area to land the Chang'e-6," said Li Ming, lead designer of the laser 3D imaging sensor.

The three laser sensors were all developed by the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The Chang'e-6 is a robotic lunar exploration mission by the China National Space Administration. Like its predecessors in the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese Moon goddess Chang'e.

The Change'e-6 was launched on May 3, 2024. As China's second sample return mission, its robotic scoop and drill then took samples from the lunar surface and these were launched back into lunar orbit on June 3. The ascender then docked with the orbiter on June 6, passing the samples across for return to the Earth. The lander and rover are also conducting scientific experiments on the lunar surface and the overall mission is expected to last about 53 days.

Laser sensors help ensure safe lunar landing of Chang'e-6 probe

Laser sensors help ensure safe lunar landing of Chang'e-6 probe

Laser sensors help ensure safe lunar landing of Chang'e-6 probe

Laser sensors help ensure safe lunar landing of Chang'e-6 probe

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Exhibition of ancient Egyptian civilization opens in Shanghai

2024-07-18 00:30 Last Updated At:01:17

An exhibition on ancient Egyptian civilization, which features 492 sets of 788 pieces of artifacts, opened in the Shanghai Museum on Wednesday. The exhibition will run 13 months.

The exhibition, entitled "On Top of the Pyramid: The Civilization of Ancient Egypt," was jointly sponsored by the Shanghai Museum and the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt.

Ninety five percent of the artifacts on display are making their Asia debut.

The most anticipated exhibits include statues of Pharaohs, sets of sarcophaguses and mummy cases, painted wooden coffins, and animal mummies.

The displayed artifacts come from several major Egyptian museums and some of them are cultural relics newly unearthed in Egypt.

Exhibition of ancient Egyptian civilization opens in Shanghai

Exhibition of ancient Egyptian civilization opens in Shanghai

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