十二月 18

China lands on moon, kicks off next lunar space race

本文翻译自新科学家http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24759-china-lands-on-moon-kicks-off-next-lunar-space-race.html#.UrG_R10W0Zg

China lands on moon, kicks off next lunar space race
中国着陆月球——开启下一个月球探测竞赛

Let the modern moon rush begin. China has successfully placed a lander and rover on the lunar surface, the first time any nation has touched down there in almost four decades.
China's first moon landing, which took place on Saturday afternoon (GMT) marks the rekindling of humanity's love affair with our only natural satellite. About a dozen robotic landers and rovers are on the drawing board for launch between now and 2020, many from burgeoning space powers or private ventures that would also be making their first attempts.
让现代的月球探测竞争开始吧。中国已经成功地将着陆器和探测车送上了月球表面,这是几乎40年来世界上首次登录月球表面。中国的第一次登陆月球发生在星期六下午(GMT),标志着重新点燃了人类对自己唯一的天然卫星的探索激情。从现在到2020年将大约有12个着陆器和探测车登陆,其中大部分来自空间技术急速增长的国家或私人企业,这也或许是他们的首次尝试。

This flotilla of 21st-century moon explorers should arrive bristling with technologies that will help them map the moon's uncharted regions and prospect for resources that could one day sustain lunar outposts and missions further afield.
这支21世纪的月球探测大军应该大力发展那些将会帮助他们填补月球地图的空白和勘探有朝一日能支持月球前哨基地和远距离任务的能源的科技。

Space island
宇宙中的小岛

The crew of the final Apollo mission lifted off from the moon's Sea of Serenity on 14 December 1972. After that, three robotic Soviet spacecraft made it to the surface, the final one in 1976. For the next few decades, the moon's only visitors were a dozen or so orbiters and deliberate crashes, such as NASA's LCROSS mission in 2009, which created plumes of dust for analysis by orbiters.
阿波罗最后一次任务的机组人员于1972年12月14号在月球静谧海起飞。在那之后,三个苏联的太空飞船着陆月球,最后一个是在1976年。在接下来的几十年中,月球唯一的拜访者就是数量巨大的环绕探测器和撞击探测器,例如美国宇航局2009年的LCROSS任务,它撞击产生了大量的尘埃用于轨道飞行器的分析。

Launched on 2 December, the Chang'e-3 mission touched down on a 1160-kilometre-wide basin known as the Sea of Rains. To make the soft landing, it needed to fire retrorockets to adjust its position, cut off its engine and ultimately drop from a height of 4 metres.
"Hopefully the lander doesn't tilt," said Bernard Foing, director of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group, a forum sponsored by multiple space agencies, before the landing. Once on the surface, the lander set free a rover named Yutu – which translates as "Jade Rabbit" – after the mythological pet of lunar goddess Chang'e.
India and South Korea are also in the running to send missions to the moon that would involve combinations of landers and rovers. India could launch its Chandrayaan-2 mission by 2017, while the newly proposed Korean mission won't be lifting off before 2020.
发射于12月2号的嫦娥二号着陆于1160千米宽的叫雨海的盆地。为了实现软着陆,需要开启制动火箭调整方向,并且最终在4米高的地方关闭引擎自由落下。
“着陆器没有倾斜真是太好了。”Bernard Foing说。他是由多个空间局支持的国际月球探测组织的主任。一到达月球表面,着陆器就释放月球车——玉兔——神话中月亮女神嫦娥的宠物。
印度和韩国也在抓紧他们的探月任务,包括送着陆器和月球车上去。印度2017年将发射Chandrayaan-2 ,而最近才开始计划的韩国在2020年以前不会发射。

"The moon is the nearest island in space out from the Earth," says Igor Mitrofanov at Russia's Institute for Space Research in Moscow, the project scientist for two planned Russian-led rover missions. As countries develop their space programmes, the moon is a natural first foray beyond Earth that allows remote-controlled robots to get their sea legs while staying within a 10-second call of the planet's shores.
“在宇宙中月球是离地球最近的的岛屿。”Igor Mitrofanov在莫斯科的俄罗斯空间研究局说道。这个项目已计划了两次俄罗斯主导的月球探测任务。当各国开始发展空间项目时,月球自然的成为第一个在地球之外被掠夺的对象(that allows remote-controlled robots to get their sea legs while staying within a 10-second call of the planet's shores.不知什么意思)

Eighth continent
第八块大陆

But the moon is more than a test bed for space missions. China's Yutu rover will venture a few kilometres away from its landing site to snap images, take stock of minerals with on-board spectrometers and probe below the surface with radar. It could reveal different episodes of volcanism at the site, which is covered with solidified lava.
但是月球不仅仅是用于测试空间任务的地方。中国的玉兔号月球车将会离开着陆地点几公里去拍照、用车载分光计探测岩石并用雷达探测月表之下。这可能会获得对这个被覆改着凝固熔岩的地方的火山活动的不同的发现。

"To know the origin and evolution of the moon is to know those of Earth," saysTatsuaki Hashimoto of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the lead scientist for a proposed lunar rover called SELENE-2. The moon is thought to have coalesced from the debris of an impact between a Mars-sized world and Earth some 4.5 billion years ago. "It's a part of the Earth," says Foing. "I call it the eighth continent."
“了解月球的起源与演化需要了解它的土壤。”来自日本航空探测局、计划中的SELENE-2月球车的领导科学家Tatsuaki Hashimoto 说道。月球被认为是由45亿年前由火星大小的行星和地球碰撞产生的碎片组成的。“它是地球的一部分,”Foing说,“我称它为第八块大陆。”

Several of the proposed exploration missions are targeting the moon's poles, which have never been visited by a lander. But data from orbiters support the idea that the rocks and shadowed craters at both poles contain millions or even billions of tonnes of water ice. Studying the water's isotopes and any organic material it might hold in deep freeze could shed light on where Earth got its water and the building blocks of life, says Foing.
许多计划中的探测任务都把从来没有被拜访过的月球极点当做目标。许多来自轨道飞行器的数据都支持两极的岩石和被遮蔽的火山口保存着数亿砘的冰的观点。了解水的同位素和任何有机材料在极端寒冷的条件下的保存能够让对了解地球的水和构成生命的物质的来源产生有益的帮助,Foing说。

Lunar refuelling
月球燃料

The damp moon could also be a useful resource for future robotic and human exploration, says Paul Spudis of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. Astronauts could drink moon water extracted from its rocks, or use it as radiation shielding.
Water could also be split into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket fuel. Much of the weight of today's rockets comes from their own propellant, so having a source of fuel already in space would pave the way for much more ambitious human missions.
潮湿的月球在未来也许会是机器人或载人探测的有用的资源,来自德克萨斯州休斯敦月球和行星学会的Paul Spudis 说。宇航员能够喝从岩石中抽取的水或是用来屏蔽辐射。
水也能够被分为氢气和氧气用做火箭燃料。当今大多数火箭的重量是推进剂,所以有个在宇宙中的燃料来源将为更富野心的人类计划铺平道路。

"If we're really interested in extending our reach to Mars and beyond, we don't want to have to bring fuel with us," says Anthony Colaprete of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. He is the project scientist on a proposed robotic mission called Resource Prospector, which could launch in 2018 to try to extract water from lunar rocks.
“如果我们真的对将步伐延伸到火星及之外很感兴趣的话,我们不会希望不得不同时携带着燃料。”来自位于加州Moffett Field 的美国宇航局Ames 研究中心的Anthony Colaprete 说。他是一项名为资源探测者的计划中的任务的项目科学家。资源探测者将于2018年发射,它能从月球的岩石中提取水分。

Miners ahoy
嘿,矿工

Private groups are also hoping to get in on the action. The Google Lunar X Prize is offering $20 million to the first private team that by the end of 2015 launches a lunar spacecraft that can land on the moon, travel 500 metres and send back video. Some of the teams vying for the prize also have their sights set on selling lunar-derived rocket fuel. And a US-based firm called Shackleton Energy Company says it wants to send robots and teams of human miners to the moon to supply water for fuel depots that it would place in Earth orbit.
Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington DC, is sceptical that a private company will be able to raise the money needed to put together such a massive project. Still, he agrees that mining fuel from the moon makes sense, and he notes that most of the world's space agencies, with the exception of the US, want to send astronauts to the moon.
私人组织也希望加入行动。谷歌月球X奖两千万美元奖金将颁发给第一个能够在2015年前发射月球探测器并能在月球着陆,行进500米并能将视频传回地球的私人团队。一些参与奖金竞争的团队也同时将目光放在出售源于月球的火箭燃料上。一个叫Shackleton能源公司的美国公司表示其希望送机器人和人类矿工上月球为将可能位于地球轨道的燃料基地供给水资源。Scott Pace,华盛顿大学空间政策学院主任,对私人公司有能力募集到这样的巨型项目的巨额金钱表示怀疑。但是,他还是认为在月球开采燃料是很有意义的,并且他强调,除了美国宇航局,世界上所有的宇航局都希望送宇航员上月球。

Once again China may be leading the renewed charge, with a potential human mission that could take place after 2025. "I personally believe that this is the beginning of the epoch of the permanent stay of humans on the moon," says Mitrofanov.
2025年中国可能的载人登月任务将再一次使中国在这一领域领先。“我个人认为这是人类永久居住月球的新纪元的开始。” Mitrofanov说。

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Posted 2013年12月18日 by zhangzimou in category translation