China Launches First Mission To The Far Side Of The Moon

Posted: Dec 8 2018, 10:29pm CST | by , Updated: Dec 8 2018, 10:38pm CST, in Latest Science News


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China Launches First Mission to the Far Side of the Moon
Credit: NASA

Chang'e-4 mission is expected to land on moon around the New Year and will carry out experiments and survey.

China has successfully launched a ground-breaking mission to land a robotic rover on the far side of the moon.

Country’s Chang'e-4 lunar probe, named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology, departed Earth Friday aboard a Long March 3B rocket and expected to make a soft landing on the back side of the moon around the New Year, where it will study the local geology and carry out several experiments.

“Chang'e-4 is humanity's first probe to land on and explore the far side of the moon," said the mission's chief commander He Rongwei of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the main state-owned space contractor. "This mission is also the most meaningful deep space exploration research project in the world in 2018.”

The moon's far side also known as the dark side always faces away from earth and has never been explored. In 1959, Soviet Union captured the first images of this comparatively unknown region and showed that the far side is rugged and heavily cratered. If successful, Chang'e-4 will be the first rover to explore this side of the moon.

Chang'e-4 will land on Aitken Basin in the south pole region of moon. Measuring roughly 2,500 km in diameter, Aitken Basin is the single-largest impact region on the moon and one of the largest in the solar system.

China has already launched a relay satellite named Queqiao to facilitate communication between Earth and the Chang'e 4 mission.

Chang'e-4 will be the second Chinese probe to arrive at Moon. China landed its first lunar rover named Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit" in 2013. The country is also planning to send its Chang'e 5 probe next year that will return to Earth with samples from moon.

"China over the past 10 or 20 years has been systematically ticking off the various firsts that America and the Soviet Union did in the 1960s and 1970s in space exploration," said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "This is one of the first times they've done something that no one else has done before."

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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