China prepares to go for the far aspect of the Moon

Chinese Rover to Be First to Explore The Dark Side of The Moon

In preparation for the launch, China placed a relay satellite in orbit this May to facilitate communication with the probe.

With its Chang'e 4 mission, China hopes to be the first country to ever successfully undertake a landing on the far side of the Moon.

A Long March 3B rocket lifts off from China's Sichuan province early on December 8, carrying a rover destined to land on the far side of the moon.

Chinese Rover to Be First to Explore The Dark Side of The Moon
Source NASA Goddard Arizona State University

If the mission succeeds, it will catapult China into the forefront of lunar exploration with a landing that no other nation has even dared to attempt.

#BREAKING: China launches Chang'e-4 lunar probe in the early hours of Saturday.

It will also perform radio-astronomical studies that, because the far side always faces away from Earth, will be "free from interference from our planet's ionosphere, human-made radio frequencies and auroral radiation noise", space industry expert Leonard David wrote on the website Space.com.

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To overcome that, a satellite was blasted into the moon's orbit in May, to act as a link between the lander and Earth. The earth's and moon's gravity balances the orbital motion of the satellite and makes it very fuel-efficient.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, making it only the third country after Russian Federation and the U.S.to do so.

In 2013 China became just the third country, after the US and the then-Soviet Union, to successfully "soft land" on the Moon when its Chang'e 3 lander reached the lunar surface. The Chang'e 4 rover is 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and about 1 meter (3.3 feet) wide and tall, with two foldable solar panels and six wheels. The scientific instruments on its lander are still operating, making Chang'e-3 the longest working man-made probe on the moon.

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The mission will explore the composition of the Moon's largest impact crater, called the Von Kármán crater, which is 115 miles across (186 kilometres).

The Chang'e-4 is expected to land in a few weeks. The spacecraft re-entered the earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 11.2 km per second.

"This mission is also the most meaningful deep space exploration research project in the world in 2018", He said, according to state-run Global Times.

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