China plans to launch the very first mission to the far side of the moon by the end of 2018.
The Chang’e-4 spacecraft is scheduled to take off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan on December 8.
It will carry a lander and a rover which will be touching down on the lunar surface.
Exploring the crater marked side of the moon
The mission involves exploring and studying the crater marked side of the moon and conducting the first radio astronomy experiments in that location.
“Chang’e-4 is the China National Space Administration’s (CNSA) latest move in its lunar aspirations. In 2013, Chang’e-3 performed a “soft” landing on the surface. In the years that followed, CNAS announced its plan to build a moon base, launching a satellite to relay communications from the lander on the lunar surface to Earth, circumventing the moon’s mass,” Digital Trends reports.
If the touchdown is a successful one for the rover then it will get the task to map the area around the landing site. It’s equipped with a ground penetrating radar and it will measure the subsurface layers.
A near and infrared spectrometer will make it possible to measure the mineral makeup of the lunar soil.
These measurements may help geologists to better understand the geological dynamics of the evolution of the moon.
Long-term human habitation on Mars
“When we take the step towards long-term human habitation on the Moon or Mars, we will need greenhouse facilities to support us, and will need to live in something like a biosphere,” Anna-Lisa Paul, a horticultural scientist at the University of Florida, told Scientific American.
The experiment will aim to verify studies which have been conducted on the ISS.
The CNAS has another mission in the cards, Chang’e-5 which will launch in 2019 and will bring back samples collected by the rover.
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