China’s Chang’e 6 to Deploy French DORN Instrument on Moon to Study Lunar Exosphere

BEIJING (CNES PR) — Wednesday 6 November, on the occasion of President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the People’s Republic of China, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Zhang Kejian, Administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), signed in the presence of Presidents Macron and Xi Jinping a joint statement covering two fields of investigation.

First, in 2023 China’s Chang’e 6 lunar mission will fly the French DORN instrument proposed by the IRAP astrophysics and planetology research institute. DORN’s science goals are to study the transport of volatiles through the lunar regolith and in the lunar exosphere and lunar dust.


Giant Potato Buzzes Earth; Horticulturalists Amazed, Baffled

The asteroid Toutatis photographed by Chang’e 2. (Credit: SASTIND)

The Chinese space probe Chang’e 2 spacecraft snapped this image of the asteroid Toutatis.

A series of radar images of the asteroid are shown in the video below.

Video Caption: With optical telescopes, it’s difficult to make out the surface features of asteroid Toutatis. Radar gives us a different picture. On Dec. 12 and 13, 2012, scientists pointed NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar precisely on the asteroid while it was over four million miles/6.9 million kilometers away. Using the bounced radar signals scientists assembled these “images” showing the surface features of Toutatis, an asteroid measuring about 3 miles long (4.8 km). The orbit of Toutatis is well understood. An analysis indicates there is zero possibility of an Earth impact over the entire interval over which its motion can be accurately computed, which is about the next four centuries.

The Space Review: SBSP, Space 2.0, Lunar Lander Challenge and More

The Space Review
has some interesting analyzes this week:

John Marburry offers a way for government to support the development of space-based solar power despite the current economic meltdown.

Burke Fort, director of the director of the 8th Continent Project, describes how his group is helping foster the creation of companies that leverage space technology for terrestrial applications.

Jeff Foust reports on plans by several teams to win the Lunar Lander Challenge.

Taylor Dinerman worries that a U.N. effort to promote “sustainability” in space could be a power grab by the world body.