February 5, 2024
BEIJING – Tiandu 1 and Tiandu 2, two experimental satellites for communication and navigation to be launched to the Moon, will arrive at Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in South China’s Hainan province around Feb 7, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The two satellites are scheduled to lift off in the first half of the year together with Queqiao 2, or Magpie Bridge 2, a relay satellite carrying out lunar exploration missions that was transported to the launch site on Friday.
Tiandu 1 weighs 61 kilograms and is equipped with Ka dual-band communicator, laser corner reflector, and space router. Tiandu 2 weighs 15 kilograms and is equipped with communication and navigation devices.
They will enter the lunar transfer orbit with Queqiao 2, then approach the Moon and enter the lunar orbit. After that, they will carry out measurements and technological experiments in the orbit.
The satellites will provide a reference for the design of the future Queqiao constellation, China’s own lunar communication, navigation, and remote sensing systems, according to Chen Xiao, chief of the project.