Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Now, it's China's turn to explore the Moon

Now, it's China's turn to explore the Moon

Landing away from the equator is much more hard as is landing away from the gaze of the Earth on the far side of the Moon - congratulations China. It's the first time any country has accomplished such a feat on the Moon's little-studied far side, and for China it's a huge opportunity to contribute to space exploration as a whole.

Image of the Yutu-2 rover disembarking from the Chang'e-4 mission's lander.

These include the Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry (LND), which will be responsible for exploring the radiation environment in the vicinity of the lander; the Advanced Small Analyzer for Neutrals (ASAN), which will measure energy spectra of energetic neutral atoms originating from reflected solar wind ions; and the Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer (NCLE) on the relay satellite Queqiao.

Artist's impression of the Chang'e-4 lander on the lunar surface.

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe itself is a good example of global cooperation: It is equipped with instruments developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and China to study the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and the interaction between solar wind and the moon surface.

Over the course of the next three months, the mission will study the ancient impact basin to learn more about the early Solar System and the origins of the Moon.

In recent years, each significant achievement made by China's space industry has drawn global attention.

The relay satellite will also be used for scientific and technological experiments. For all those uninitiated and confused, the far side of the Moon is that portion which is rarely studied by the researchers.

China's unmanned spacecraft Chang'e - 4 has successfully landed on the far side of Moon known as the South Pole-Aitken Basin.

China's lunar exploration programme, named after moon goddess Chang'e, began in 2004, and has included orbiting and landing a probe on the near side of the moon, and bringing samples back to Earth. Harvard University astronomer Avi Loeb observed that the relay satellite required to dispatch information by far side also pollutes the sky.

"As long as we keep it clean of radio interference, the far side of the moon is very good for radio astronomy", he said. After a successful moon landing, the lander and rover transmitted never before seen images of the Moon, which has to this day kept many of its secrets.

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