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​Chinese spacecraft 'in position' for historic landing on the dark side of the moon - but officials refuse to reveal when it will touch down

中国航天器“已经就位”,等待历史性的登陆月球暗面——但官员拒绝透露降落时间



A Chinese space probe has moved into position to land on the dark side of the moon for the first time, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

官媒新华社报道,一枚中国航天探测器已经移动到位,准备首次登陆月球的暗面。

The probe, the Chang'e-4, entered a planned orbit on Sunday 'to prepare for the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon', the news agency said, citing the China National Space Administration.

这家新闻机构引用中国国家航天局的消息称,这枚探测器是嫦娥4号,已于周日进入预定轨道,准备在月球远面进行有史以来首次软着陆。



It includes a lander and a rover to explore the surface of the moon.

它包括一台登陆器和一台漫游车,来探索月球的表面。

Xinhua said that the probe had entered an elliptical lunar orbit at 08.55 Beijing time, which brought it at its closest point just 15 kilometres away from the surface of the moon.

新华社称这枚航天器已经于北京时间8:55分,抵达月球的椭圆形轨道,这使得它离月球最近点距离月面只有15km。

The Chang'e-4 first entered a lunar orbit on Dec. 12.

嫦娥4号于12月12日初次抵达月球轨道。



The space control centre will select a 'proper time' to land the probe on the far side of the moon, Xinhua reported.

据新华社报道,太空控制中心将选择一个“合适的时间”将探测器降落在月球的远面。

Its descent is being aided by a relay satellite, the Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge.

它的着陆将由鹊桥号中继卫星提供辅助。



Retrorockets on the probe fired on 12 December to stabilise the spacecraft and slow it down.

12月12日发射的这枚探测器上装有制动火箭,目的是稳定航天器并使其减速。

It took off from the Xichang satellite launch centre in Sichuan, south-west China at 6:30 GMT on December 7 atop a Long March-3B rocket.

12月7日格林尼治时间6:30,它被置于一枚长征-3b火箭顶端,从位于中国西南部四川的西昌卫星发射中心起飞。



This will be the primary form of communication between Earth and the spacecraft.

这将是地球与航天器之间沟通的首要方式。

The probe and explorer will use Queqiao to get their findings back to China. As the landing is happening on the dark side of the moon it required its own satellite to be able to send information back.

航天探测器将利用鹊桥将它们的发现传输回中国。当着陆在月球暗面时,它需要本国的卫星能够将信息送回。

China's latest mission closely follows the touchdown of NASA's InSight spacecraft on Mars on Monday, at a site less than 400 miles (640 kilometres) from the American rover Curiosity, the only other working robot on Mars.

周一,美国宇航局的洞察号宇宙飞船在火星上着陆,距离美国好奇号探测器不到400英里(640km),这是火星上另外唯一一个运行中的机器人。中国的最新任务紧随其后。

CHINESE SPACE EXPLORATION
China landed its Yutu, or 'Jade Rabbit', rover on the moon five years ago and plans to send its Chang'e-5 probe there next year.

中国的太空探索
五年前,中国玉兔号探测器在月球上登陆,并计划明年将其嫦娥5号探测器发射到月球上。

Change-5 is the follow up to the current mission and will return to Earth with the first samples from the moon since 1976.

嫦娥5号是当前任务的后续行动,并将带着自1976年以来第一批月球样本返回地球。

The Asian superpower is also considering a crewed lunar mission.

这个亚洲超级大国也在考虑执行载人登月任务。

On September 29, 2011, China launched Tiangong 1.

2011年9月29日,中国发射了天宫一号。



China also plans for its first uncrewed Mars exploration program could take place sometime between now and 2033, followed by a crewed phase in 2040-2060.

中国也计划从现在到2033年之间进行第一次无人火星探测计划,然后在2040-2060年开始载人阶段。