Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

First Landing Made On Moon's Far Side

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
Sandra Phillips | 06 January, 2019, 19:15

In this photo provided on January 3, 2019, by the China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, an image taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe after its landing.

While China still lags behind the United States, which has a much larger space exploration budget, it has come out ahead in at least one arena after becoming the first country to make a landing on the far side of the moon Thursday.

The new probe will consist of an orbiter and a lander and is set to be China's first sample-return mission, aiming to bring at least 2 kilograms of lunar soil and rock samples back to Earth.

While China's space program still lags America's, he said "China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russian Federation and the European Union".

Media outlet China Daily later confirmed the success of the mission when it announced on Twitter that, "China's Chang'e 4 landed on the moon's far side, inaugurating a new chapter in mankind's lunar exploration history".

On Thursday morning, a Chinese probe called the Chang'e-4 touched down on the moon's far side, making China the first to do so.

Yu Guobin is a Chang'e 4 mission spokesman.

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"The current landing location is our most ideal landing place, in other word, we are right on target".

The separation of the rover - which is named after the moon goddess' pet white rabbit - went smoothly, said Wu Weiren, chief designer of the lunar project. 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.

Chang'e-4 landed at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south following a 12-minute powered descent.

Because it is always facing away from Earth, direct communication between a rover and ground control is impossible.

The probe, which includes a lander and a rover, touched down at a preselected landing area after it entered the moon's orbit in mid-December, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

Since launching its first astronaut into space in 2003, China has been on an ambitious drive to catch up with the pack led by the United States.

In 2013, the predecessor spacecraft Chang'e 3 made the first moon landing since the former Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976. China builds already now an exclusive competition event to the global space station, is mainly due to the Americans, who had rejected a few years ago a participation of China. "And we're gradually realizing it".

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