Saturday, 25 May, 2019

Autobots, roll out! China lands on the dark side of the moon

Chang'e 4 spacecraft lands on far side of the Moon in world first for China China claims to have landed spacecraft in unexplored side of Moon
Kristen Harrington | 06 January, 2019, 15:41

The Chang'e-4 landed in the Von Karman Crater, located in the southern hemisphere.

The university also developed an innovative lunar topographic mapping and geomorphological analysis system that facilitated the selection of Chang'e-4's landing site.

"It was a great challenge with the short time, high difficulty and risks", Wu said.

It then sent back a first orange-tinted photograph of the moon's so-called "dark side" via a special satellite that had been launched in May to provide a communications link with Earth.

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Fitted with cameras, ground-penetrating radar and other tools, Chang'e-4 was created to help scientists answer lingering questions about our moon's geologic past. We have mastered the technology to land on the far side of the Moon, and the landing technology itself and also the data-reading technology.

The China National Space Administration said the 10:26 a.m. touchdown of the Chang'e 4 craft has "opened up a new chapter in human lunar exploration". After receiving the order, Yutu-2, atop the spacecraft, extended its solar panel, stretched out its mast and started to drive slowly to the transfer mechanism, according to the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. When it was 2 meters above the surface, the engine stopped, and the spacecraft landed with four legs cushioning against the shock.

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe made a soft-landing and transmitted the first-ever "close range" image of the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said. Unlike the near side that always faces the earth, it is mountainous and rugged.

"The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference from radio signals from Earth", mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

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China has been trying to catch up with the United States and other nations in space exploration.

He believes this ambitious mission "shows that China has reached the advanced world-class level in deep space exploration".

Pink Floyd isn't the only one singing about the dark side of the moon now-China is too. The Chinese mission is the first to the far side, sometimes called the dark side because it is relatively unknown.

The Chang'e-4 mission launched in December 2018 and touched down on the lunar surface this month. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.

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