A pair of 104 pound (47 kilograms) microsatellites hitchhiked a ride on China’s Moon relay launch.
Credit: Harbin Institute of Technology

 

Two microsatellites DSLWP-A1 and DSLWP-A2 carrying amateur radio payloads were launched with China’s Chang’e-4 relay satellite. The pair of hitchhiking microsatellites are unofficially called DSLWP-A1 and DSLWP-A2 (DSLWP = Discovering the Sky at Longest Wavelengths Pathfinder). The twosome are also known as Longjiang-1 and Longjiang-2.

However, help has been requested to monitor for signals from one of the lunar microsats.

Several amateurs received telemetry from the satellites. But now DSLWP-A1 reportedly appears to have encountered problems.

Credit: Harbin Institute of Technology

Contact lost

Quoting Wei BG2BHC: “Can you help to find amateurs in the U.S. to help to monitor DSLWP-A on 435.425 and 436.425 now?  We lost the contact of satellite A on S band after an orbit adjustment.  We just tried to switch on UHF, but we don’t know if it works or not. If operating, 435.425 MHz should be 500bps GMSK and JT4 alternately. 436.425 MHz should be 250 bps GMSK.  Both transmit once in 5 minutes. LONGJIANG 1 – NORAD CAT ID 43471 LONGJIANG 2 – NORAD CAT ID 43472.”

Developed by students at the Harbin Institute of Technology the amateur radio are designed to evaluate lunar formation flying for low frequency radio astronomy, amateur radio and education.

Hopefully, dedicated amateur radio specialists will recover the microsatellite.

Credit: CNSA

Vital step

Meanwhile, China’s relay satellite – Queqiao — braked near the Moon last Friday, completing a vital step before entering a desired orbit, according to the China National Space Administration.

The relay satellite has entered a transfer orbit from the Moon to the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the Earth-Moon system.

“There was only a short window for the braking,” said Zhang Lihua, project manager of the mission in an Xinhua news story. “And Queqiao had only one chance due to limited fuel.”

Once in its halo orbit, the relay satellite will provide a communications link between Earth and the planned Chang’e-4 lunar probe that will attempt the first landing on the Moon’s far side.

 

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