4M has entered Earth Orbit

After some days of incertitude, we now have several things for certain:

-          We had a perigee in the night of Saturday to Sunday

-          We have strong signals in Europe

-          4M has energy left for another 2-3 days

It appears that the injection during the flyby was much closer to the one of Chang’e 5T1 than the estimated elements after passivation. This led to a return to Earth quicker than expected. Although we had some inkling since Thursday, which show a higher than expected Doppler, it was difficult to sort it out.

We have now (3Nov 1340UTC) a negative Doppler and a quasi stationary pointing (Az 290°, El 80°), along with strong signals, that lead to the conclusion that 4M is somewehere around 40000km, in an orbit with a inclination of 50°, and with a negative radial speed showing it has not reached its apogee.

Apparently, the Dosimeter experiment (DRALUX) has stopped functioning. But this may also be normal due to its technological nature, and it may restart.

Stay tuned and keep on uploading your reports using the 4M data client.

We’ll try to provide TLE as soon as possible using all observations and Doppler.

Thanks to Viljo, ES5PC, Geroge VK4AMG for their help.