China's Lunar Landing May Mean Potatoes And Flowers Grow On The Moon

China's Lunar Landing May Mean Potatoes And Flowers Grow On The Moon

China successfully placed a lander and rover on the far side of the moon with its Chang'e-4 lander.

He told the Associated Press, "On the whole, China's space technology still lags behind the West, but with the landing on the far side of the moon, we have raced to the front".

China state television announced Thursday that China's Chang'e 4 lunar explorer, which launched in early December, "became the first ever probe to soft-land on the far side of the moon". So the more correct term is the far side of the moon.

The far side is also sometimes called the "dark side" of the Moon.

TRT World spoke to Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Keele University Jacco van Loon.

In 1959, the Soviet probe Luna 3 was the first to snap photographs of the lunar far side, with its 18 photographs revealing one-third of the moon's surface invisible from Earth.

The Chang'e-4 probe is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, and includes low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side.

China's state-run TV reports that Chang'e 4 unloaded its rover onto the surface following the landing.

In May, a relay satellite "Queqiao", or "Magpie Bridge", named after an ancient Chinese folktale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang'e 4 and Earth.

"The exploration will give us more information about the Moon than we have ever known, and that is critical", said Prof Zhu.

The rover has not yet separated from the lander section.

The probe was sent to the far side of the moon as part of a multi-billion dollar space program initiated by Beijing officials that has the lofty goal of establishing a fully-staffed space station on the surface of the moon by 2022.

The tasks of the Chang'e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon's terrain, landform and mineral makeup, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side.

It was then directed to lower itself toward the Moon, being careful to identify and avoid obstacles, Chinese state media say.

Yung Kai-leung with a model of the Chang'e-4's camera system. That mission was only a partial success, since the rover suffered serious problems and died less than two months on the Moon, although the lander is still operational. Its space program suffered a rare setback previous year with the failed launch of its Long March 5 rocket.

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