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TechnologyChina anxiously waits for lunar rover to touch down on far side of the moon

05:06  03 january  2019
05:06  03 january  2019 Source:   cnn.com

China Lunar Probe Will Be First to Explore Far Side of the Moon

China Lunar Probe Will Be First to Explore Far Side of the Moon China’s ambitious space program is going where no other program has gone before: the far side of the moon. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The Chang’e-4 lunar probe is set to launch this month, state media has reported. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft -- named after the mythical Moon Goddess -- will land within weeks in the moon’s Aitken Basin, where it will take images of the surface and samples of the soil.

China hopes to send its Chang’e-4 lunar lander to the far side of the moon , shown here illuminated by the sun in an image captured by NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory It is on the far side of the moon , which is always facing away from Earth. Wait , I thought the far side of the moon was dark.

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. China was only the third nation to carry out a lunar landing, after the United States and Russia. The overall design of the new

China anxiously waits for lunar rover to touch down on far side of the moon© Xinhua/Alamy PEH6R9 Beijing, China. 15th Aug, 2018. Photo provided by State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense shows the image of the rover for China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe. China's moon lander and rover for the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, which is expected to land on the far side of the moon this year, was unveiled Wednesday. The global public will have a chance to name the rover. Credit: Xinhua/Alamy Live News

China is poised to make history Thursday by becoming the first country to make a soft landing on the far side of the moon, a feat that has never been done before.

The Chang'e 4 lunar probe is expected to touch down on the lunar surface Thursday, an important milestone in China's attempt to position itself as a leading power in space exploration.

In space first, China launches lunar rover to far side of the moon

In space first, China launches lunar rover to far side of the moon China is poised to become the first country in the world to explore the far side of the moon with the launch of a lunar rover Saturday, another step closer to its goal of becoming a space superpower. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The Chang'e 4 lunar mission lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province during the early morning hours, confirmed by Twitter account of the country's state media.

Landing on the far side of the moon is something no one has tried before. “The Chinese are pushing back the frontier with such a technically challenging mission,” says Brian Harvey, space analyst and author of China in Space: The Great Leap Forward. China ’s lunar exploration programme started in

BEIJING - China launched a rover early Saturday destined to land on the far side of the moon , a global first that would boost Beijing's ambitions to become a space superpower, state media said. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission—named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology—launched

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) said it would choose the time to land the probe, but it is unclear exactly when China will achieve touch down.

The probe entered an elliptical orbit on December 30, passing just 15 kilometers above the moon's surface, state media reported.

The far side of the moon is the hemisphere that never faces earth, due to the moon's rotation. It is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the "dark side of the moon," even though it receives just as much sunlight as its earth-facing side.

The Chang'e 4 lunar mission lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province on December 8 and entered the moon's orbit four days later, according to Chinese state media.

China anxiously waits for lunar rover to touch down on far side of the moon© STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES The Xichang Satellite Launch Center

Once safely on the moon, the lander will tackle a long to-do list, including conducting the first lunar low-frequency radio astronomy experiment, observe whether plants will grow in the low-gravity environment, and explore whether there is water or other resources at the poles.

China will start off 2019 by landing on the Moon

China will start off 2019 by landing on the Moon Many of us like to start off a new year by doing something special. 

China launches lunar rover in historic mission to the dark side of the moon . It will take Chang'e 4 about three days to travel to the moon , where it will spend about three weeks in orbit. The lander and rover are expected to touch down on the Von Karman crater sometime around Jan.

[ China 's Chang'e 4 Moon Far Side Mission in Pictures]. China ’s Chang'e 4 lunar probe lifts off the pad at Communicating with a far - side lander or rover is difficult, because the entirety of the moon 's solid, rocky body would block China 's Chang'e 4 Moon Lander and Rover to Touch Down As Toys.

Another function of the mission is to study the interaction between solar winds and the moon surface using a new rover.

"Since the far side of the moon is shielded from electromagnetic interference from the Earth, it's an ideal place to research the space environment and solar bursts, and the probe can 'listen' to the deeper reaches of the cosmos," said Tongjie Liu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center for the China National Space Administration.

Because of the far side's position facing away from earth, it is free from interference from radio frequencies and therefore it's not possible for the lunar rover to communicate directly with ground control. This is often cited as a reason other space agencies have not landed a probe or rover there before. The mission requires a relay satellite to transmit signals that was launched into place this year.

China just landed on the far side of the moon. It has plans to do a lot more.

China just landed on the far side of the moon. It has plans to do a lot more. The US won’t be happy about this.

The far side of the Moon is the hemisphere of the Moon that always faces away from Earth. The far side 's terrain is rugged with a multitude of impact craters and relatively few flat lunar maria.

Later this year, the moon 's far side will welcome its first robotic visitor — China 's Chang'e 4 lander. Chang'e 3 marked the beginning of the second phase, which includes orbiting the moon , landing and returning lunar samples to China 's Chang'e 4 Moon Lander and Rover to Touch Down As Toys.

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.

"China is anxious to get into the record books with its space achievements," said Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the US Naval War College and an expert on China's space program.

"It is highly likely that with the success of Chang'e -- and the concurrent success of the human spaceflight Shenzhou program -- the two programs will eventually be combined toward a Chinese human spaceflight program to the Moon," she added. "Odds of the next voice transmission from the Moon being in Mandarin are high."

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. China was only the third nation to carry out a lunar landing, after the United States and Russia.

The overall design of the new rover is inherited from Jade Rabbit, according to the chief designer of China's lunar probe program.

"We worked hard to improve its reliability, conducting thousands of experiments to ensure its long-term operation, especially taking into consideration rocks, ravines and frictions on the Moon," Wu Weiren told state broadcaster CCTV in August.

China begins first surface exploration of moon's far side

China begins first surface exploration of moon's far side A Chinese lunar rover has begun exploring the terrain in the world's first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon. Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp and onto the soft, snow-like surface after a Chinese spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing Thursday on the moon's far side. A photo posted online by China's space agency showed tracks left by the rover as it headed away from the spacecraft. "It's a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation," Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, told state broadcaster CCTV, in a twist of U.S.

China 's first moon rover is dead after a record-setting 31 months on the lunar surface. Yutu touched down in December 2013 as part of China 's Chang'e 3 moon mission, which also delivered a stationary lander to the lunar China Launches 1st Mission to Land on the Far Side of the Moon .

China just launched a spacecraft that will help pave the way for a historic mission to the moon 's far The satellite will set up shop there and wait for China 's robotic Chang'e 4 lander- rover spacecraft, which If all goes according to plan, Chang'e 4 will become the first craft ever to touch down on the

Beijing plans to launch its first Mars probe around 2020 to carry out orbital and rover exploration, followed by a mission that would include collection of surface samples from the Red Planet.

China is also aiming to have a fully operational permanent space station by 2022, as the future of the International Space Station remains in doubt due to uncertain funding and complicated politics.

In comparison, despite its recent success in sending a robotic lander to Mars, the US space agency NASA has faced years of budgetary constraints.

Although the Chinese government has long stressed its "peaceful motives" in space exploration, Washington increasingly views China -- along with Russia -- 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.

The US Congress has barred NASA from working with China due to national security concerns.

"A high percentage of space technology is (civilian-military) dual use," Johnson-Freese said. "The US sees pretty much everything China does in space -- including things the US has done in space -- as threatening."

She suggested that combining military preparedness with diplomatic efforts would best deter perceived threats in space from all sides but added that "unfortunately, the US has not shown interest in diplomatic leadership regarding space security."

CNN's Yong Xiong, Matt Rivers and David Allen contributed to this report.

First panoramas from China moon lander.
The Chinese space agency releases new vistas from the lunar surface featuring its lander and rover.

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