Published: Tue, December 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

China launches rover for first far side of the moon landing

China launches rover for first far side of the moon landing

In anticipation of the launch, China sent their Queqiao relay satellite into space this past May.

China successfully launched the Chang'e-4 lunar probe on Saturday, embarking on a new journey to explore the Moon.

A rocket carrying the probe took off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 2.33 am local time (2.03 am Indian Standard Time) on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported. It's mission will be to explore the composition of the lunar surface.

It landed the Chang'e 3 probe, which carried the first Chinese lunar rover, on the moon in December 2013. The lander's home base always faces away from Earth, so a detector there will not likely pick up human-made radio frequencies and "noise" from auroras on Earth which could affect data. It is expected to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon most likely in early January next year.

To overcome that, a satellite was blasted into the moon's orbit in May, to act as a link between the lander and Earth.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, making it only the third country after Russian Federation and the U.S.to do so.

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China plans to launch Chang'e 5 next year, a mission to return samples from the Moon.

The 140 kg Chang'e-4 rover.

After accomplishing its tasks, Chang'e-2 flew to the L2 point of the sun-earth system about 1.5 million km from earth to conduct scientific experiments.

A Chinese spacecraft is headed toward the moon on a historic mission.

Chang'e 4's rover has six wheels, two solar panels, a radar dish as well as multiple cameras, show pictures published by the China National Space Administration. The spacecraft re-entered the earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 11.2 km per second.

China's space program has benefited from cooperation with Russian Federation and European nations, although it was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station, mainly due to USA legislation barring such cooperation amid concerns over its strong military connections.

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