After the US and the former Soviet Union have sent their spacecraft to the moon, China has sent their probe somewhere never charted before: on the far side of the moon, also known as the dark side of the moon because it cannot be seen from Earth.
At 10:26 a.m. the probe called Chang’e 4 landed on the moon, and according to the China National Space Administration, it “opened up a new chapter in human lunar exploration.”
The probe snapped a photo of its surroundings at 11:40 a.m., showing a crater which is illuminated by the robot. Chang’e has been named after the Chinese goddess who has lived on the moon for millennia, according to legends.
Back in 2013, President Xi Jinping stated that:
The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger.
The probe was launched on 8 December 2018 and was hailed as one of the nation’s major achievements of the past year.
China Wants to Go “Farther and Farther”
A professor at Nanjing University’s school of astronomy and space science, Hou Xiyun, stated that China wants to go further than the far side of the moon:
“There’s no doubt that our nation will go farther and farther.”
China is also considering a crewed mission to the moon. Next year, they are planning to send Chang’e 5 and have it returned to Earth with samples taken from the lunar surface – a task that hasn’t been done since 1976 (by the former Soviet Union).
The spokesperson of the mission, Yu Guobin, stated in an interview with the official Xinhua News Agency:
“The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference from radio signals from Earth. This probe can fill the gap of low-frequency observation in radio astronomy and will provide important information for studying the origin of stars and nebula evolution.”
According to the chief designer of the China Lunar Exploration Project, Wu Weiren, landing on the far side of the moon is a milestone, and “building a space power is a dream that we persistently pursue.”
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere