Manfred Memorial Moon Mission
Names4M
Mission typeReconnaissance, memorial
OperatorLuxSpace
COSPAR ID2014-065B
SATCAT no.40284
Websiteluxspace.lu
Mission duration19 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLuxSpace
Launch massPayload 14 kg, 3rd stage of rocket to which payload was permanently attached 21,000 kg[1], Nominal total=21,014 kg
Dry mass14 kg (31 lb)
Dimensions61 cm × 26 cm × 10 cm (2.00 ft × 0.85 ft × 0.33 ft)
Power4.5 W
Start of mission
Launch date23 October 2014, 18:00:04 (2014-10-23UTC18:00:04) UTC[2]
RocketLong March 3C/G2
Launch siteXichang LC-2
End of mission
Last contact11 November 2014, 01:35 UT[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeHighly Elliptical
Perigee altitude1,282 kilometers (797 mi)
Apogee altitude404,724 kilometers (251,484 mi)
Inclination30.4°
Period10.93 days
Flyby of Moon
Closest approach28 October 2014[4]
Distance13,000 km (8,100 mi)
 

Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M) was the first private lunar probe to successfully fly by the Moon. It was led by LuxSpace, a child company of German OHB System, in honor of OHB Systems founder, professor Manfred Fuchs, who died in 2014, and was launched with the Chinese Chang'e 5-T1 test spacecraft on 23 October 2014.[5][6] The lunar flyby took place on 28 October 2014, after which the spacecraft entered the elliptical Earth orbit and continued transmission until 11 November 2014, exceeding its designed lifetime by four times.[4][7][8]

Spacecraft

REMEMBER THE SPACE PIONEER MANFRED FUCHS.
REST IN PEACE MANFRED FUCHS.
DAMIT ALLE MENSCHEN AUF DERWELT IN FRIEDEN ZUSAMMEN LEBEN.
LA LI LU NUR DER MANN IM MOND SCHAUTZU WENN DIE KLEINEN KINDER SCHLAFEN UND SO SCHLAF AUCH DU.
DO NOT GO WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD GO INSTEAD WHERE THERE IS NO PATH AND LEAVE
A TRAIL.
ALL LIFE IS AN EXPERIMENT. THE MORE EXPERIMENTS YOU MAKE THE BETTER.

Part of the message sent by the 4M[7]

The briefcase-sized probe, with a mass of 14 kg was built by the Luxemburg company LuxSpace.[5] Its primary power source consisted of 28 non-rechargeable Saft LSH20 HTS lithium cells, which provided 4.5 W power for the payload electronics.[8] It was permanently attached to the Long March 3C/G2 upper stage through the mission, and its design was adapted to function near the electromagnetic interference from the rocket's 1 kW S band transmitter.[7] The secondary power source included 4 Saft MPS lithium-ion batteries recharged by a 2x8 grid of solar panels, to recharge its batteries. Unlike the primary power source, however, it was dependent on the spacecraft attitude (orientation) and rotation rate, determining the availability of sunlight to recharge the batteries. The onboard computer was an FM430.[9][10]

Payload

Amateur radio

The radio payload consisted of a quarter-wave monopole antenna supported by an I/Q modulator, and an RF power amplifier providing 1.5 W power.[9][11] The probe's antenna transmitted up to 2500, 13-character digital messages at 145.980 MHz using digital mode JT65B, with additional tone transmissions.[9][12] LuxSpace created a contest with prizes for amateur radio operators to receive these transmissions and send results back to the company.[13] The radio was activated 77.8 minutes after the launch, and the first radio signal was received in Brazil at 19:18 UTC.[11] The team expected 10 participants to join the contest, but more than 60 people took part. Scoring was based on the number of messages received.[7]

Dosimeter

The 4M probe featured a small dosimeter that measured ionizing radiation in space. The instrument was provided by the Spanish company iC-Málaga.[6][14] The instrument measured the total ionizing dose every 5 minutes, and it showed a significant increase in radiation doses while crossing Van Allen radiation belts.[15] 215 hours into the mission, the radiation sensor stopped working for unknown reasons.[7]

Mission

The probe was permanently attached to the third stage of Long March 3C/G2 on 23 October 2014 at 18:00 UTC along with Chang'e 5-T1, making its closest flyby a day after Chang'e 5-T1.[11] The lunar flyby took place during the night of 28 October 2014.[4] After that, the probe entered a highly elliptical geocentric orbit with a period of 14 days and it remains in space.[8][11] The last transmission from the spacecraft was received on 11 November 2014, 01:35 UTC.[7]

Honorifics

The 4M probe was the first private lunar probe to successfully perform a lunar flyby.[14] A similar flyby on 13 May 1998 by the PAS-22 satellite, at the time called HGS-1, a geostationary communications satellite made a lunar flyby in a recovery attempt after a partially failed launch that left it on an unusable highly elliptical orbit. Using gravity assist manoeuvres, the satellite was successfully recovered on 17 June. Unlike the 4M mission, the HGS-1 was not designed as a lunar mission, and made a flyby only in a recovery attempt, however according to Hughes Global Services, the satellite operator at the time, it claimed the title of the first commercial mission to the Moon.[16]

The first commercial payload to the surface of the Moon was by Celestis,[17] that paid for commercial transportation of a human remains memorial onboard the Lunar Prospector, which impacted the Moon's surface on 31 July 1999.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ "CZ-3A-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 7 October 2008.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  3. ^ https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/resources/1060/beyond-earth-a-chronicle-of-deep-space-exploration/
  4. ^ a b c "Flyby has occurred this night". LuxSpace. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b "First commercial mission to the moon launched from China". Spaceflight Now. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "China Readies Moon Mission for Launch Next Week". Space.com. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "End of 4M mission". LuxSpace. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  8. ^ a b c "Saft lithium batteries powered the 4M mini-probe to success on the world's first privately funded Moon mission" (Press release). Paris: Saft. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "The mission". LuxSpace. 28 October 2014. Archived from the original on 13 September 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ "First Private Moon Mission to Launch on Chinese Rocket Today". Space.com. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d "Chang'e 5 Test Mission Updates". Spaceflight 101. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  12. ^ "4M Moon Orbiter Carrying Ham Radio Payload to Launch on October 23". American Radio Relay League. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  13. ^ "4M Reception Contest". LuxSpace. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. ^ a b First private Moon mission to launch on Chinese rocket today. Mike Wall, Space. 23 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Radiation Experiment". LuxSpace. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  16. ^ "HGS-1 Arrives in Earth Orbit". NASA. 29 April 1998. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ About the Luna 01 Flight. Celestis. Accessed 14 July 2018.
  18. ^ "No water ice detected from Lunar Prospector impact". NASA. 13 October 1999. Retrieved 1 June 2017.

External links

  • Official website
  • Manfred Memorial Moon Mission on Gunter's Space Page