China lunar probe sheds light on the 'dark' side of the moon

China Makes Historic Touchdown on Moon's Far Side

State media reported the rover transmitted back the world's first close-range image of the far side of the moon.

After the successful landing, experts verified the conditions of "Queqiao", meaning Magpie Bridge, which was launched in May of 2018 to set up the communication link between the Earth and the moon's far side, the environment parameter of the landing area, the conditions of the probe's equipment as well as the angle of incoming sunshine to make preparations for the separation of the lander and rover, the CNSA said in a statement.

BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) - China's lunar rover, Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, left the first ever "footprint" from a human spacecraft on the far side of the moon late at night on Thursday, after it separated from the lander smoothly. According to Andrew Jones, a journalist reporting on the Chinese space program, Chang'e 4's descent required "laser ranging and optical cameras for navigation, velocity, and coarse hazard avoidance". He also assured that the structures were definitely not by natural means, and suggested that the far side of the moon could be actually an alien base.

The spacecraft, which has a lander and a rover, was launched on top of a Long March 3B carrier rocket on December 8 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province.

And the new exploratory probe could return a whole host of valuable data: examining the geological make-up of the surface around the South Pole-Aitken basin, a part of the Moon we now know very little about.

"The moon is more challenging to land on than Mars", Melosh said.

And the China National Space Administration won't be resting on its laurels following this history-making rendezvous.

The communist country is working on an intensive program of lunar exploration, with Chang'e 3 landing on the moon in 2013 as the first craft since a Soviet device in 1976.

Finally, at noon, the nation's state-owned television network CCTV announced in a 40-second segment at the top of the news that the Chang'e-4 had made its historic touchdown.

"There are rocks all over the far side that are four billion years old", she continued. Chang'e-4's observations could give clues to the processes behind the differences.

The far side of the moon, because it faces away from Earth, isn't polluted by radio "noise" from our planet. Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia contributed payloads that will measure radiation and use low-frequency radio astronomy to listen for faint signals lingering in the cosmos since the formation of the universe's first stars, among other things.

If the moon was formed from the same material as the Earth as many lunar scientists believe, studying the South Pole-Aitken basin could provide insights into the early Earth, de Grijs said.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, following Russian Federation and the U.S. It has put two space stations into orbit and plans to launch a Mars rover in the mid-2020s. "And we're gradually realizing it".

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