Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

China lands first spacecraft on far side of moon

China lands first spacecraft on far side of moon

On 4 January 2019, the World News Daily Report (WNDR) published a recycled version of an earlier article reporting that a Chinese lunar rover had found no evidence of American moon landings.

The head of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, Thursday congratulated the Chinese colleagues on the successful landing of the Chang'e-4 probe. Spacecraft have taken pictures of the moon's far side before - a Soviet satellite took the first photographs of the far side in 1959, and the Apollo missions circled above it between 1968 and 1972 - but no lander has ever landed there.

"We are pleased that the power equipment of the Chang'e-4 mission is supplied by radioisotope sources of electricity produced in Russian Federation", he said.

Launched on Dec 8, 2018, China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe, comprising a lander and a rover, landed on the far side of the moon Thursday morning.

"As long as we keep it clean of radio interference, the far side of the moon is very good for radio astronomy", he said. The ground control has been receiving geographic and geomorphic images of the moon's far side.

Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon.

Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp from its lunar lander yesterday to explore the moon's surface. It may hold clues to the moon's origins, prove rich in minerals, and possibly serve as a "future refueling base for missions deeper into space".

Since the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, the same side always faces the Earth. Chang'e 4 also has sent back images taken with a topographical camera.

As a solution, China in May blasted the Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge") satellite into the moon's orbit, positioning it to relay data and commands between the lander and Earth.

The landing highlights China's growing ambitions as a space power. China last year launched more rockets into space than any other nation and plans another moon landing, the Chang-e 5, later this year.

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