Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Now, it’s China’s turn to explore the Moon

The first glimpse of the far side of the moon The first glimpse of the far side of the moon
Sandy Nunez | 10 January, 2019, 12:24

China probe "lands on dark side of the MOON" in space exploration BREAKTHROUGH The Chinese robotic probe Chang'e 4 has landed on the dark side of the moon, becoming the first manmade craft to alight on the unexplored surface, according to reports from Chinese state media. This Thursday, 3 January, the Chinese Space Agency announced the successful landing of its probe Chang'e-4. The Chinese mission is the first to the far side, sometimes called the dark side because it is relatively unknown.

The Jade Rabbit 2 rover has succeeded in establishing a digital transmission link with a relay satellite that sends data back to the Beijing control center, the space agency said in a posting late Friday on its website. They then established an uplink with the relay satellite (Queqiao) that will allow the lander and rover to communicate with mission controllers on Earth. LFS aboard Chang'e-4 will astronomically observe low-frequency bands.

Having barely landed on the lunar surface, Chang'e-4 transmitted its first images.

In recent years, each significant achievement made by China's space industry has drawn global attention. The Von Kármán crater measures 186km in diameter and is located within 2,500km-wide South Pole-Aitken basin.

Other scientific objectives include measuring the chemical composition of lunar rocks and regolith, measuring lunar surface temperatures, studying cosmic rays, and observing the solar corona to learn more about the evolution and transport of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) between the Sun and the Earth. With the moon touchdown, China is now positioned as a contender for exploration, communications and area commerce.

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Even if the experiments with the satellite prove that we can not feasibly conduct radio astronomy on the far side of the Moon, the mission is certain to yield valuable scientific information.

One of the major technological hurdles is in targeting the side of the moon which constantly faces away from the Earth is that direct communication with the spacecraft isn't possible.

"As long as we keep it clean of radio interference, the far side of the moon is very good for radio astronomy", he said.

This was one of the many planned missions for the country.