China prepares mission to land spacecraft on moon's far side

11 December, 2018, 02:44 | Author: Ann Santiago
  • Chang’e-4 Launch

In May, China launched a relay satellite tasked with transmitting signals between Chang'e 4 and ground control.

China on Saturday, December 8, launched the world's first probe to study the dark side of the moon.

China has promoted global cooperation in its lunar exploration program, with four scientific payloads of the Chang'e-4 mission developed by scientists from Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

It may also carry plant seeds and silkworm eggs, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. What makes the endeavor special is that it would be the first time that a rover will attempt to land on the dark side of the moon, that is always tilted away from the Earth.

Communication with the far side of the moon is hard as it is always facing away from the Earth.

To overcome that, a satellite was blasted into the moon's orbit in May, to act as a link between the lander and Earth.

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Chang'e-2, launched in 2010, created a full lunar map with a resolution of 7 meters, as well as images of the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, with a resolution of 1.5 meters, showing the details of the proposed landing site of Chang'e-3.

Objective of the mission is to try to deliver samples of lunar soil to Earth.

This mission, besides being a major first for the China National Space Administration, aims to explore and study both the surface and subsurface of the lunar region.

Model of Chang'e moon lander.

It's expected to land in early January after 26 days of flight, said China's Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. The spacecraft re-entered the earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 11.2 km per second. Lagrange points are positions in space where a small object (the satellite, in this case) is gravitationally balanced between two large objects (the moon and the Earth, in this case) and will remain in place relative to them. Its program also suffered a rare setback past year with the dialed launch of its Long March 5 rocket.

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