Emirates

China’s relay satellite Queqiao-2 completes in-orbit communication tests

BEIJING, 12th April, 2024 (WAM) — The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Friday that the Queqiao-2 satellite has successfully completed in-orbit communication tests, with all systems functioning normally.

This marks a major step forward for China’s lunar exploration programme, as Queqiao-2 will provide vital communication services for future missions, according to China Global Television Network (CGTN).

Queqiao-2 was launched on March 20 and entered its target orbit on April 2 after a midway correction, near-moon braking and orbital maneuver around the moon.

The satellite successfully completed a communication test on April 6 with Chang’e-4, which is now carrying out an exploration mission on the far side of the moon. From April 8 to 9, it conducted communication tests with the Chang’e-6 probe.

The two satellites onboard along with the Queqiao-2, Tiandu-1 and Tiandu-2 satellites, have entered the planned orbit and undergone a series of communication and navigation technology tests.

Both Queqiao-2 and Tiandu-1, Tiandu-2 satellites use the Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) around the moon as their mission orbit, which not only enhances the communication capability of Queqiao-2 significantly and increases satellites’ coverage over the lunar South Pole region, but saves fuel for Queqiao-2 to be able to work extended time in the orbit thanks to the orbit’s stability.



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