As Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber power early Thursday morning on the way to work, he looks proud to the moon. The Professor of Experimental and Applied physics, works at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (CAU) and has developed together with his Team, a measuring device that is landed aboard the Chinese spacecraft “Chang’e 4” on the back side of the moon. “This is an incredible idea,” he says of the MIRROR.

The Mission is a first in the space. Because it is the first Time a human has landed-made object on the far side of the moon. From earth we always see only one side of the moon because the satellite is rotating just as quickly as the earth.

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This allows for about 41 percent of the moon’s surface from earth, never to. It is only since the Soviet moon mission, “Lunik 3”, mankind has an idea of how it looks there. On 7. October 1959, the probe sent a total of 29 images that show at least 70 percent of the far surface.

landing on the moon back is not much more difficult, because it is as flat as the front. Also, there is no direct radio link is possible. China was, therefore, already in may the transfer of the satellite, “Queqiao” in Position. Previous lunar operations focused on the erdzugewandte side of the moon, on the numerous probes and twelve astronauts have landed.

“Lunar Lander Neutron Dosimetry” (LND)

“Our measuring device has survived the landing well, and this Morning two to three hours of measured,” says Wimmer-Schweingruber. The measuring device “Lunar Lander neutron & Dosimetry” (LND) is on Board the Chinese probe, was lucky.

almost three years Ago had presented the Kiel researchers present their project at a science meeting in the vicinity of Munich. Only 15 minutes remained for the presentation. Nearly 20 Teams had presented their experiments, three were from China the award, including the scientists from Kiel. The project is also funded by the German center for air and space travel. The cost to be around one Million euros.

In Video: On the far side of the moon

Video DPA/ CNSA/ Xinhua

The device for astronauts to dangerous radiation in space, which can trigger cancer. “The radiation dose on the surface of the moon has not been measured but only the total radiation during a single lunar missions,” says Wimmer-Schweingruber. This was still unclear how much radiation astronauts get actually.

the results of The research are intended to help protect astronauts on future missions to the moon better. “In addition to the Start and landing, the jet mountains, the greatest risk to astronauts,” explains Wimmer-Schweingruber. And can be very variable, and promises are, therefore, difficult to advance.

Robert Wimmer-Schweingruber, “Lunar Lander Neutron Dosimetry” (LND)

in addition, the measuring device senses the water. That there is water on the moon, is already known for a Long time. In the Experiment, the Kiel is about to test the new device, to be able to it also for other space missions. The researchers from Kiel are also developing equipment for the space agencies Esa and Nasa.


the work on The LND had to go very quickly. “We had only 13 months of time – a sporting goal,” says Wimmer-Schweingruber. Up to the last Minute before the deadline, the researchers had been working under high pressure. Fortunately, have to work all the components.

“Our biggest concern was that the measurement device during the rocket launches will be damaged, because of the enormous forces at work,” says the physicist. Therefore, the research team had shaken the LND in experiments, vigorously, to simulate a rocket launch.

in addition, the scientists could not always rely on tried and tested Designs that, for example, in the Mars Rover “Curiosity” are installed. Certain components may not be exported to China, because their structure is top-secret. The Kiel researchers had to design, therefore, parts of the electronics. For at least one year, the LND should work now on the far side of the moon and measured values for the earth.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.