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SJTU Material Scientist Contributed to Chang’e 4

January 04, 2019      Author: Zhang Bing, Shi Wenbo

At 10:26 on January 3, 2019, the Chang'e 4 lunar probe successfully landed on the moon and returned the world's first close-up image ever taken of the far side's surface, which opens a new chapter in lunar exploration. In his 2019 New Year message, President Xi Jinping specifically mentioned the Chang'e 4 satellite. After the landing of Chang'e 4, lunar rover Yutu 2 left the "first human walk" footprint on the far side of the moon, successfully inaugurating the expedition to the far side. The material technology of Shanghai Jiao Tong University also contributed to this historic landing.

The research team led by Professor Zhang Di and Ouyang Qiubao, School of Materials Science and Engineering Research Institute of Composite Materials and State Key Lab of Metal Matrix Composites developed high-performance SiC reinforced aluminum-based composite material, which provides material and component support for the soft landing of probe Chang'e 4, and the expedition of lunar rover Yutu 2 on the far side.

The high-performance SiC reinforced aluminum-based composite material developed by the team is applied to four key loads in Chang'e 4, including lens barrel, optical bottom plate, frame in space-based optical instrument such as laser range finder, 3D imager and infrared spectrometer, 12 key components in total.

Featuring light weight, high rigidity and high dimensional stability, the SiC particle reinforced aluminum matrix composite material can meet the requirements of lightweight, non-deformation and dimensional stability of the load structure, and solves the problem of high resolution and high stability of the space-based instrument. It provides important support for the operation of the Chang'e 4 and the completion of various scientific exploration tasks.

A nation is strong when its technology is powerful. In the future, SJTU material scientists will continue to dedicate themselves to make new contributions to the innovation-driven country with the spirit of patriotism, dedication, innovation, and truth-seeking.


Translated by Chen Wanrong

Reviewed by Wang Bingyu