China Lands First Spacecraft on "Dark" Side of the Moon

06 January, 2019, 19:15 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • China claims to have landed spacecraft in unexplored side of Moon

"The surface is soft and it is similar that you are walking on the snow", Shen Zhenrong, the rover designer from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., said on CCTV.

Legend has it that Chang'e, after swallowing a magic pill, took her pet and flew toward the moon where she became a goddess and has lived with the white jade rabbit ever since.

The unmanned lunar missions are part of China's ambitions to join the United States and Russian Federation as a major space power.

While China's space program still lags America's, he said "China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russian Federation and the European Union".

"The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger", President Xi Jinping said shortly after taking office in 2013.

China has released photos of its lunar rover leaving track marks on the far side of the moon after the country's historic landing. "The other side is not dark, it's just far", said Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb.

Chang'e 3: First unmanned Moon landing of the Chang'e effort. The United States is hoping to return to the big cheese in the sky by 2023, but the spacecraft for the mission is not done yet and technical issues could push that date back, giving China an even bigger head start. But China is considering a crewed mission, as well.


While the far side of the Moon has been photographed since the 1950s, humankind has yet to successfully land there until now.

It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the heavily cratered surface, uncloaking some of the mystery of the moon's "dark side".

On Jan. 3, the Chang'e 4 spacecraft, which includes a rover, performed a soft landing in the moon's Von Karman crater. Chang'e-4 will examine this mysterious area of the Moon.

As The Verge reports, exploring the far side of the Moon is a very hard task because it's always facing away from the Earth meaning communication is extremely hard.

He added the mission will "provide important information for studying the origin of stars and nebula evolution".

It also carried cotton, rapeseed, potato, Arabidopsis, fruit fly and yeast samples to form a mini biosphere in the lifeless environment, said state news agency Xinhua.

China has come a long way since the founding of its space program in 1956. It became only the third country to do so after Russian Federation and the United States. Its space program suffered a rare delay past year with the failed launch of its Long March 5 rocket.

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