In a few hours, 4M will be at 1 light second from the Earth.
So far, 29 stations are providing continuous data and we are missing very few messages. More than 100 stations are registered to the dataware house and more are sending their ALL.TXT files. Warm thanks to all stations !!! Those saying that radioamateurs no longer exist are wrong.
Now, we can disclose a secret: in a few hours also, the global messages will loop, and they will be transmitted again. So, the stations that have not received them can give it another try for the contest. Of course, this will not be the case for the DRALUX experiment nor the callsign/mission elpased time messages, which are all unique.
From the telemetry, we can see that the rotation of the last stage is slow, and we are getting sun for roughly 5-7 minutes every 20 minutes or so. It is visible when the rechargeable battery and the solar array take over the non reachargeable high energy density cells from SAFT.
Do you know that the same cells are onboard the Philae due to land on comet Gerasimenko ? The same cells will also be used on EXOMARS, the ESA Mars mission.
As the temperature is 7°C (2°C on the telemetry), each cell can roughly deliver 29W.hour. We have 28 of them, so a total energy of 812W.hours.
Given that the 4M draws 3.5W (14V x 0.244mA + some losses), this gives us a minimum autonomy of 232 hours starting from 23Oct 19:18 UTC.
With the help of the sun and the rotation of the last stage, we may expect a longer lifetime, although it is quite difficult to estimate. Possibly in one or two days, we’ll have a good integration of the energy and a better outlook.
IC-Malaga has already processed the results of the two dosimeters. Graphs will be soon published. they clearly show that the van Allen belts are not a comfortable place, that we fortunately crossed quite fast. The good news is that the results of the two dosimeters are in a very good concordance. Quite an achievement for a newly developed chip!!!!
Chang’e 5T1 is ahead of us by some thousand of km and will perform its flyby before us. Quite natural politeness to let our host take precedence ! (Space mechanic is no stranger to that although)
This is a very ambitious and critical mission for China’s exploration program.
Again, we are really delighted, (not to say overwhelmed) by the reports we are getting, and we thank again all the stations that provide their time and skills for the success of this mission.