Chinese module to study moon's far side By Zhao Lei Saturday, December 08, 2018, 09:51 By Zhao Lei The Chang'e 4 robotic probe, the first artifact to touch down on the moon's far side, was lifted atop a Long March 3B carrier rocket at 2:23 am at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China's Sichuan province, Dec 8, 2018.
China launched the probe, which for the first time in the history of mankind has to sit on the opposite side of the moon. In the case of the success of the mission, China will become the first country, which will be able to perform this task.
The blast-off marked the start of a long journey to the far side of the moon for the Chang'e-4 mission, expected to land around the New Year to carry out experiments and survey the untrodden terrain.
The objective of the mission is to deliver samples of lunar soil to Earth.
If successful, the Chang-e 4 will unlock valuable clues to the mysteries about the moon and the universe. The mission will include a low-frequency radio-astronomical study of the lunar surface, a shallow exploration beneath the surface, and a study of the topographical and mineralogical composition of the SPA basin. The other side, most of which is never visible from Earth, is the far side of the moon.
In preparation for the launch, China placed a relay satellite in orbit this May to facilitate communication with the probe.
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The probe and the lunar Rover is equipped with several cameras, radar to scan the moon's surface, a spectrometer for the determination of minerals and device for investigation of the interaction of the solar wind with the lunar surface. The Chang'e 3 mission marked first soft-landing by a spacecraft on the moon in almost four decades.
This mission is part of a larger program of China for the exploration of the moon.
After launching, the spacecraft will spend 27 days traveling to the moon.
The Chang'e-4 lander, with the rover on top, undergoing tests.
Model of Chang'e moon lander.