Sunday, 20 January, 2019


Chinese Spacecraft Launches on Mission to the Far Side of the Moon

After years of planning the robotic Chang’e-4 mission will launch tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. EST After years of planning the robotic Chang’e-4 mission will launch tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. EST
Kristine Garrett | 10 December, 2018, 12:04

China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission blasted off on a Long March 3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China in the early hours on Saturday, according to Xinhua news agency.

The Chang'e-4 lander, with the rover on top, undergoing tests. The other side, most of which is never visible from Earth, is the far side of the moon.

This mission is part of a larger program of China for the exploration of the moon.

The country's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, was launched in 2007, making China the fifth country to develop and launch a lunar probe on its own.

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While the terrain on the near side of the moon has many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is rugged and mountainous.

Futurism has previously reported on the Chang'e 4 lunar lander, which is scheduled to land near the Moon's southern pole in a giant plain called the Von Kármán crater.

Chang'e-4 that launches on 8 December is hopeful of investigating the far end of the Moon's surface and carry out the first set of investigations into whether there will be a growth of plants.

The probe will explore low-frequency radio signals emanating from the far - or dark - side of the moon, survey the terrain and land forms, detect the mineral composition of the surface and measure neutron radiation to understand the environment on the satellite's far side, Xinhua said, quoting the China National Space Administration.

"As no astronauts or rovers have ever landed on the far side, we know little about it except for speculation based on remote-sensing images", Zhang said. To facilitate communication between controllers on Earth and the Chang'e 4 mission, China in May launched a relay satellite named Queqiao, or "Magpie Bridge", after an ancient Chinese folk tale.

The Chang'e 4 mission will enable scientists to discover what they haven't known about the moon.

China aims to catch up with Russian Federation and the United States to become a major space power by 2030.

The Chang'e 4 mission is a step in that direction, significant for the engineering expertise needed to explore and settle the moon, McDowell said.

Once on the moon's surface, the rover faces an array of extreme challenges.

Beijing is planning to send another lunar lander, Chang'e-5, next year to collect samples and bring them back to earth.

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