The relay satellite for the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, which is expected to land on the far side of the Moon later this year, has been named "Queqiao" - magpie bridge.
The name was announced by the China National Space Administration (CNSA)Tuesday, China's Space Day.
In a Chinese folktale, magpies form a bridge with their wings on the seventh night of the seventh month of the lunar calendar to enable Zhi Nu, the seventh daughter of the Goddess of Heaven, to cross and meet her beloved husband, separated from her by the Milky Way.
Together with the relay satellite, two microsatellites, developed by the Harbin Institute of Technology, will also be sent into orbit. The two microsatellites were named "Longjiang-1" and "Longjiang-2."
Work on the Chang'e-4 lunar probe is progressing well, said Li Guoping, a spokesman of CNSA.
Chang'e-4 will carry payloads for Germany, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Sweden,
The far side of the mood is of great scientific interest, but landing there requires a relay satellite to transmit signals.
The relay satellite will be sent into the halo orbit of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point L2 in late May, and the Chang'e-4 lunar lander and rover will be sent to the Aitken Basin of the south pole region of the Moon about six months later. (Xinhua)
52 Sanlihe Rd., Xicheng District,
Beijing, China (100864)