China successfully launches lunar probe

11 December, 2018, 02:47 | Author: Emmett Howard
  • Китайцы отправят первый в истории аппарат на темную сторону Луны

China on Saturday launched a first probe ever to explore the dark side of the Moon, marking another milestone in its ambitious space program, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

China's last lunar rover - named Yutu, or Jade Rabbit - ceased operation in August 2016 after 972 days of service on the moon's surface as part of the Chang'e 3 mission. The far side is a far more rugged and mountainous surface than the well-studied near side of the Moon.

Chang'e 4 is the next in the line of China's Chang'e missions, and would be the first craft to land on the Moon's far side.

The rover is expected to land around the New Year to carry out experiments and explore the untrodden terrain.

Its mission includes surveying the terrain and geological composition of the surface.

Chang'e-4 will be the second Chinese probe to land on the moon.

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"Since the probe on the side of the moon will not be in sight of our planet, the data it will be send via satellite", Zhuazao" (Queqiao), which China launched in may this year.

The country's first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, was launched in 2007, making China the fifth country to develop and launch a lunar probe on its own.

In addition to Chinese scientific equipment, the Chang'e 4 mission also involves scientific apparatus developed by the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Advancing China's space program has been a priority of its leaders, with President Xi Jinping calling for China to establish itself as a space power. In this study, the instrument will examine the thickness and structure of the regolith, or lunar soil, in the region around the landing site.

Previously, NASA released a recording of the noise of the wind on Mars.

Although the Chinese government has long stressed its "peaceful motives" in space exploration, Washington increasingly views China - along with Russian Federation - as a potential threat, accusing Beijing of working to bring new weapons into space and prompting President Donald Trump to announce the establishment of a US Space Force by 2020.

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