Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Chinese spacecraft is first to land on far side of moon

Chang'e 4's intended landing spot is the Von Kármán crater an ancient impact crater around 186 kilometers in diameter.                  NASA  GSFC  Arizona State University Chang'e 4's intended landing spot is the Von Kármán crater an ancient impact crater around 186 kilometers in diameter. NASA GSFC Arizona State University
Cary Marshall | 03 January, 2019, 07:52

China on Thursday claimed that one of its spacecraft made a successful landing on the far side of the Moon - a side that has never been explored by mankind before.

The far side of the moon is relatively unexplored and communication is hard because it always points away from Earth and signals could be blocked.

Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the flawless place from which to study the universe.

China Daily's tweet said: '"China's Chang'e 4 landed on the moon's far side, inaugurating a new chapter in mankind's lunar exploration history".

While spacecraft have taken photos of the unexplored side of the moon's surface, this is the first time a rover has touched down on the Von Karman crater.

The pioneering landing demonstrates China's growing ambitions as a space power.

More news: Ultima Thule High-Res Pictures From NASA New Horizons

Photo taken by the landform camera on the Chang'e-3 moon lander on December 16, 2013 shows the Yutu moon rover during Chang'e-3 lunar probe mission's first lunar day circle.

"This mission is also the most meaningful deep space exploration research project in the world in 2018".

Chang'e 4 is a lander-rover combination and will explore both above and below the lunar surface.

"This is one of the first times they've done something that no one else has done before".

The mission is aiming to take detailed measurements of the moon's terrain and mineral composition.

Karl Bergquist, the European Space Agency's global relations administrator, is quoted by China Daily as saying that the Chang'e-4 mission is scientifically and technologically "very impressive" because "no one has ever done it, this mission will therefore advance our knowledge of the moon".

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