Chinese Space Probe Successfully Lands on Dark Side of The Moon

Chinese Space Probe Successfully Lands on Dark Side of The Moon

A model of the moon lander for China's Chang'e 4 lunar probe is displayed at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition or Zhuhai Airshow in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, China. This represents a true "first", as no country has ever reached the far side of the Moon, where there is no means of direct communication with Earth.

Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp the previous night and onto the soft, snow-like surface after a Chinese spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the moon's far side.

China successfully landed the Chang'e 4 spacecraft on the moon's far side - also known as the "dark side" of the moon - on Thursday, which no nation had done before.

Chang'e 4 and its three predecessors were named after a Chinese goddess, who legend says has lived on the moon for thousands of years.

For the first time in history, a spacecraft has landed on the far side of the moon.

TRT World spoke to Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Keele University Jacco van Loon.

China's mission is to learn more about the little-understood region of the moon, as well as to compete with the United States and Russian Federation as a powerhouse of space exploration. It comprises two pieces of hardware, the main lander, and a rover and has been built initially as a backup for the 2013 Chang'e-3 mission.

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

Chang'e-4's mission is to survey the moon's terrain, measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side.

The plucky probe sent back the first image from this uncharted territory via the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge).

Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb said that in the future, it may be possible to see much farther - and thus earlier - into the universe from the far side because the moon itself will block interfering radio signals from Earth. The other side, most of which can not be seen from the Earth, is called the far side or dark side because most of it is uncharted.

Chang'e 1: China's first lunar mission launched in 2007. The Chang'e-5 mission will have sample returns from the near side of the Moon.

What is the "far side of the Moon"?

China's increasing interest in space exploration also includes plans to operate a third space station, send astronauts to the moon, and get a probe out to Mars, The New York Times reports. "And we're gradually realizing it".

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