China’s lunar probe may land on the moon’s far side tonight

China’s lunar probe may land on the moon’s far side tonight”

The probe, comprising a lander and a rover, landed at the preselected landing area on the far side of the moon at 10:26 a.m. Beijing Time (0226 GMT), the China National Space Administration announced.

The Moon is locked such that its orbit around the Earth is synchronised with its rotational speed-meaning that the far side is always pointing away from the planet.

Chang'e-4 is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, including low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the moons' far side.

She said China's ambition was to be able to "set the rules of the game in outer space" by establishing a long-term human presence. Previously, the USA and the former Soviet Union were the only countries that had managed Moon landings.

With the use of a rover, the Chang'e 4 will be put to work on the moon's surface, making astronomical observations and probing in order to work out the structure and mineral composition of the moon's terrain.

Chang'e-4 was launched from the Xichang satellite launch station in Sichuan province in southern China on December 8.

Landing on the far side of the Moon isn't as simple as the many unmanned lunar missions to go before Chang'e-4. "The process was recorded by the camera on the lander and the images were sent back to the Earth via the relay satellite "Queqiao", the report said, quoting China National Space Administration (CNSA).

According to the ancient tale, Chang'e was the Chinese goddess of the moon, who died after taking an elixir.

One of the mission's objectives is to study any exposed material from the mantle present at the landing site.

For now, it plans to send a Chang'e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples - also not done since the Soviet mission in 1976. "We also made a fault isolation design so that if a problem occurs, it will not affect the whole system", said Sun Zezhou, chief designer of the Chang'e-4 probe.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the effort on Twitter. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, following Russian Federation and the U.S. It has put two space stations into orbit and plans to launch a Mars rover in the mid-2020s.

In the nearer term, it aims to catch up to USA rocket technology, launch a Mars probe, and have a reusable shuttle by 2025 to begin space tourism.

The Chang'e 4 lander proudly displays the Chinese flag.

China's space exploration is a key part of its Made in China 2025 program, which involves attaining global leadership in space travel by the middle of the century.

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