First-Ever Landing on the ‘Dark Side’ of the Moon: China’s Chang’e 4 Lands and Snaps This Photo
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.”
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.