Manfred Memorial Moon Mission
Manfred Memorial Moon Mission (4M) was the first commercial mission to 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 carried on the Chinese Chang'e 5-T1 test spacecraft. The Moon 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.
- Radio experiment 1.1
- Mission 2
- Honorifics 3
- See also 4
- References 5
- External links 6
The briefcase-sized spacecraft weighing 14 kg was built by the Luxemburg company LuxSpace. Its primary power source consisted of 28 non-rechargeable Saft LSH20 HTS lithium cells, which provided 4.5W power for the payload electronic to perform the primary objectives of the mission. The secondary power source included 4 Saft MPS lithium-ion batteries recharged by a 2x8 grid of solar panels, allowing the mission to extend its operational lifetime. Unlike the primary power source, however, it was dependent on the spacecraft altitude and rotation, determining the availability of sunlight to recharge the batteries. The onboard computer was an FM430.
The payload was divided between two experiments: a ham radio and a radiation experiment. The radio payload consisted of a quarter-wave monopole antenna supported by an I/Q modulator, and an RF power amplifier providing 1.5W power. The radiation experiment consisted of a radiation dosimeter provided by the Spanish company iC-Málaga.
The spacecraft's onboard antenna transmitted up to 2500, 13-character digital messages at 145.980 MHz using digital mode JT65B, with additional tone transmissions. LuxSpace created a contest with prizes for amateur radio operators to receive these transmissions and send results back to the company. The radio experiment was activated 77.8 minutes after the launch, and the first radio signal was received in Brazil at 19:18 UTC. 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. The final list of participants, who would receive certificates, along with their scores, was announced on 18 November 2014.
The spacecraft was launched attached to the third stage of Long March 3C/G2 on 23 October 2014 at 18:00 UTC along with Chang'e 5-T1. It remained attached to the third stage on its way to the Moon, making its closest flyby a day after Chang'e 5-T1. The radiation experiment, which measured Total Ionizing Dose every 5 minutes, showed a significant increase in radiation doses while crossing Van Allen radiation belts. The Moon flyby took place during the night of 28 October 2014. During the return, 215 hours into the mission, the radiation experiment stopped working for unknown reasons. The spacecraft entered a highly elliptical geocentric orbit with a period of 14 days and remained in space. The last transmission from the spacecraft was received on 11 November 2014, 01:35 UTC.
On 13 May 1998 PAS-22, at the time called HGS-1, a geostationary communications satellite made a moon fly by in a recovery attempt after a partially failed launch that left it on an unusable, highly elliptical orbit. Using gravity assist manoeuvres satellite was successfully recovered on 17 June. Unlike 4M mission HGS-1 wasn't designed as a moon mission, and made a flyby only in a recovery attempt, however according to Hughes Global Services, satellite operator at the time, it claimed the title of the first commercial mission to the moon.
- "First commercial mission to the moon launched from China". Spaceflight Now. 25 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "China Readies Moon Mission for Launch Next Week". Space.com. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Flyby has occurred this night". LuxSpace. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "End of 4M mission". LuxSpace. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Saft lithium batteries powered the 4M mini-probe to success on the world's first privately funded Moon mission" (Press release).
- "The mission". LuxSpace. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "First Private Moon Mission to Launch on Chinese Rocket Today". Space.com. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
- "Chang'e 5 Test Mission Updates". Spaceflight 101. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "4M Moon Orbiter Carrying Ham Radio Payload to Launch on October 23".
- "4M Reception Contest". LuxSpace. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "Radiation Experiment". LuxSpace. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
- "HGS-1 Arrives in Earth Orbit". NASA. 29 April 1998. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Official website
- Official blog
- Manfred Memorial Moon Mission on Gunter's Space Page