Songjiang firm powers Chang'e-6 moon mission

Tan Weiyun
To ensure Chang'e-6's moon mission's consistent power supply, Songjiang Power Company carried out a first-level power protection operation.
Tan Weiyun
Songjiang firm powers Chang'e-6 moon mission

Two workers conduct a daily special inspection to ensure the power supply for the moon mission.

Early on May 3, Jiang Weiqing and Han Xiao from Songjiang Power Company conducted a thorough inspection at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory's 65-meter Tianma radio telescope station.

They meticulously checked each critical load switch onsite and marked their findings in their notebooks, leaving no room for error.

"The power supply is stable, and the equipment is operating normally!" the duo reported.

In the afternoon, the Chang'e-6 probe was successfully launched, initiating its mission to explore the lunar surface. The mission entails landing on the moon's far side in the South Pole-Aitken Basin to collect lunar soil samples before returning to Earth.

To facilitate this endeavor, the Songjiang Power Company initiated a first-level power protection operation at the observatory in Sheshan Science Park to ensure a stable electricity supply for the mission's tracking and observation equipment.

A comprehensive Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) tracking operation was conducted on the early morning of May 3.

This involved the activation of multiple radio telescopes located in Songjiang, Beijing, Kunming and Urumqi, forming a vast, invisible observational network spanning approximately 3,000 kilometers. This network provides real-time control over the probe's flight trajectory, ensuring precise navigation along its planned orbit.

Following the observatory's request for electrical support, the power company activated a first-level power protection mechanism. The power company established a dedicated team and maintained a direct communication line with the observatory to stay updated on satellite monitoring updates.

Two 220 kV substations, three 35 kV substations, eight 10 kV and 35 kV lines, eight 10 kV ring main units and high-voltage distribution rooms support the power supply for the Tianma 65-meter radio telescope, which is crucial for the VLBI tracking mission.

The team conducted daily special inspections and local police enhanced security in the surrounding areas.

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