Science

China space: China's daughter of the Moon is successfully launched

China space: China's daughter of the Moon is successfully launched”

The Moon's dark side is a highly challenging site for any landing mission.

"The soft landing and exploration of the far side, which has never been done before, will gain first-hand information about the terrain and lunar soil components and other scientific data, which will help enrich our understanding of the moon and the universe", Zhang He, executive director of the Chang'e-4 probe project, told Xinhua news agency. The dark side is very rugged and grooved with mountains.

Scientists aim to land Chang'e-4 in a place that has many geological features, so they can receive more information about the far side of the moon's atmosphere.

While other spacecraft have previously explored the far side of the moon from afar, the soft-landing will allow for more detailed study of the lunar surface. In fact, no human eyes had ever gazed upon this side of the Moon until 1959, when the Soviet probe Luna 3 captured a few images of it. The moon's far side is otherwise called the clouded side since it faces from Earth and remains similarly obscure, with an alternate piece from locales on the close side, where past missions have landed. To land on a crater in the Aitken basin the South pole is provided.

Because of the basin's great size, the crust is expected to be thinner than typical at this location due to the large amount of material that was excavated in the impact. No-one knows for sure, but with a Lunar penetrating radar on board, Chang'e 4's rover might be able to shed some light on the matter.

The lander will carry a German-developed radiation instrument, the Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry (LND), landing and terrain cameras, and a Low Frequency Spectrometer (LFS), as well as a biosphere experiment to test respiration and photosynthesis on the lunar surface.

As the rover and lander can not communicate directly with Earth, results from the experiments will sent back via a communications relay satellite called Queqiao, which the Chinese have already placed in an L2 orbit in preparation for the mission.

Numerous instruments on Chang'e 4 have been adapted from Chinas earlier Chang'e 3 lunar probe, which took up residence on the Moon in December 2013.

China's Chang'e-4 spacecraft has been in development for years, and on Saturday it finally launched into space. However, the Chinese researchers addressed that issue in May with the launch of a Chinese lunar satellite that would ensure the communication between Chang'e-4 and Chinese mission's headquarters.



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