Thursday, 24 January, 2019

China's Yutu 2 Rover Makes Tracks on Far Side of the Moon

Photos show Chinese rover making tracks on the far side of the moon Chang'e-4 Probe Touches Down on Far Side of the Moon | Space Exploration
Cary Marshall | 07 January, 2019, 11:42

Chang'e 4, named after a Chinese moon goddess, is the first craft to make a soft landing on the moon's far side, which faces away from Earth.

Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, told CCTV it was "a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation", according to the AP.

"It's just the far side, it can be either dark or light", Loeb said, depending on the time of day.

The landing has been hailed as an important technical feat.

China's mission is to learn more about the little-understood region of the moon and compete with the U.S. and Russian Federation as a powerhouse of space exploration.

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"On behalf of Roscosmos State Corporation and on my own behalf, I want to congratulate you and the entire team of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on the successful launch of the Chang'e-4 mission - the first soft landing on the far side of the moon in the history of mankind", Rogozin said in a letter of congratulation published at Roscosmos's website.

"The Chang'e-4, carrying eight payloads, will conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, survey the terrain and landforms, detect the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure and measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the Moon". "It means our science and technology ability is getting stronger and the country is becoming more powerful".

Chang'e 4's images and data come home via a relay satellite called Queqiao, which is parked at a gravitationally stable spot beyond the moon.

The news inspired dreamier thoughts for advertising employee Shang Yuegang.

One of the challenges of exploring the far side of the moon is communication. It has a maximum speed of 200 metres (220 yards) per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) tall. Despite the moniker, the dark side of the moon does receive sunlight.

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