The mission

For detailed information on the mission, you can download the paper and presentation from the Earth-Moon-Earth conference 2014.

The spacecraft will be part of the last stage of a lunar mission, due to be launched end of October 2014. The trajectory will be a lunar flyby and return to Earth, with 90% chances of re-entry in the atmosphere. The 10% remaining chances lead to a very interesting orbit.

The nominal mission duration is 196 hours, 8.17 days. The nominal Lunar flyby will occur on the 28 Oct 2014 00:28:00.000 UTC at 373000 km distance to the Earth, and 13000 km over the Moon surface.

The 4M spacecraft will transmit on 145.980 MHz +/- 2.9kHz (-40°C to +125°C), Doppler max: -2200Hz, +1000Hz. The continuous transmissions will start 4670s (77.8 minutes) after launch (-0, +600s). Five successive 1 minute sequences are sent during the 5 minutes cycle. The digital mode JT65B will be used, this can be decoded by radio amateurs using the free WJST software, there will also be ‘human readable’ tone transmissions. For the use of this software from Princeton University, follow this link.The transmission will start 4670s (77.8 minutes) after launch.

The spacecraft comprises the following equipment:

  • Primary power source: 28 high energy density, non-rechargeable cells, guaranteeing the nominal mission whilst providing 6W to the main payload and the experiments,
  • Secondary power source: 2 x 8 Triple layer solar cells and 4 x Li-Ion rechargeable cells,
  • An On-board Computer, FM430 and interface board,
  • A I/Q modulator,
  • A RF power amplifier, providing a nominal 1.5W into the antenna,
  • A quarter-wavelength antenna,
  • RAD experiment for radiation dose determination on the trajectory.
4M spacecraft in front of the moon

Model of the 4M spacecraft in front of the moon.

We encourage radio amateurs around the world to receive the transmissions and send in data. There will be a number of Experiments and Contests with prizes to the winners in each experiment and category.