back to article Forget everything you learned playing Lunar Lander: Chinese boffins reveal secrets of Chang'e 5 probe's touchdown

Chinese space boffins have revealed details of how the guidance navigation and control (GNC) system in the Chang'e 5 got the probe onto the surface of the Moon despite its propellant sloshing about inside. The goal of the Chang’e-5 mission was to collect approximately 2kg of stones and soil, inclusive of samples sourced from …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110014009.pdf

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Pint

      That was my first thought "Why not dampen the propellant sloshing?" just as you do for racing cars, etc. but then I realised that some fiendishly clever Chinese boffins probably had considered that and concluded that better control systems would lead to a better mass budget for the project.

      A well-earned drink for Honghua Zhang, Zeguo Wang, and Yifeng Guan1 =>

  2. David Pearce

    Extra Sensors

    A lesson for Boeing here, redundant sensors even though the probe was unmanned.

    1. John Jennings

      Re: Extra Sensors

      you can have redundant sensors on Boeings - its an optional extra!

      On Airbus, you get them, but if they disagree, the computer reboots.

  3. Scene it all

    I have worked with Quaternions before and can not figure why they have not been used before this. Back in the days of Apollo 13, when they were always worrying about "gimbal lock", it was because they were using real spinning gyros with real gimbals. It is not done that way any more.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is...

    ...nothing 'lucky' about it. It functioned as designed by good, solid engineering. Why the snark?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Even more pints

    I was impressed enough by the landing even befote I knew how they did it. Here's another round for the explanation.

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The West had better watch out

    For all the posturing (on both sides) the Chinese seem to be managing their space program rather well.

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