China lunar probe sheds light on 'dark' side of the moon

A NASA image of a

"Congratulations to China's Chang'e-4 team for what appears to be a successful landing on the far side of the Moon".

The pioneering landing demonstrates China's growing ambitions as a space power.

Landing on the far side means that the Moon will separate the spacecraft from Earth, making it impossible for the probe to communicate directly with our planet.

A Chinese lunar rover landed on the dark side of the moon at 10:26 am on Thursday, Beijing time, marking the start of the first exploration of a place that can not be seen from Earth. Because the moon circles the earth every 27.3 days in a synchronous rotation the side of the moon where Chang'e 4 landed remains facing away from earth.

The relay satellite was launched in May and is now running on a halo orbit about 65,000km from the Moon, where it can see both Earth and the Moon's far side.

Some analysts observing the Chinese moon mission have suggested this landing location on the moon could become a refueling station for future spacecraft tasked with deep-space exploration.

In a case of Star Trek meets reality, the Chinese National Space Agency has gone where no man - or spacecraft - has gone before, landing a lunar explorer on the far side of the Moon.

After the Beijing Aerospace Control Center sent an order at 10:15 a.m., the Chang'e-4 probe, launched on December 8, 2018, began to descend from 15 km above the moon with a variable thrust engine being ignited, according to CNSA.

Chinese space experts chose the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin as the landing site for Chang'e-4, amid rugged, high mountains and lofty hills.

In addition, this part of the Moon is not visible from Earth due to a phenomenon known as tidal locking. When there's a full moon in our sky, the far side is dark.

An artist's conception shows the Chang'e-4 mission's rover on the lunar surface. In the States, NASA has announced its own plans to land astronauts on the moon and eventually colonize Mars in the coming decades. The United States is the only other country that has carried out moon landings.

The China National Space Administration agency launched Chang'e-4 in December from its center in Xichang, southwest China. These are the first images captured from the surface.In addition, Purdue University planetary scientist Briony Horgan's name was misspelled as Briorny.

Chang'e 4 entered an elliptical path around the moon at the weekend, drawing as close as 15km from the surface. Several of the instruments aboard Chang'e 4 were previously used in the Yutu lander.

Communications were facilitated by a relay satellite that was sent to a gravitational balance point about 33,000 miles beyond the moon last May.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top New Horizons Spaceship Encounters Ultima Thule, the World Awaits Historic Photo
Jan 03, 2019 - 00:41
The close approach came a half-hour into the new year, and 3 1/2 years after New Horizons' unprecedented swing past Pluto . When the probe was launched in 2006 it had two goals. "Today is the day we explore worlds farther than ever in history!"

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 'Stranger Things' 3 Announces Premiere Date With Revealing Poster
Jan 02, 2019 - 01:15
Which means a whole lot of Americans are going to skip their annual fireworks and Brit-bashing to marathon the new series. And a trailer accompanied the new animated poster taking us right back to New Year's Eve 1985 in Times Square.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Roger Federer Differentiates Men and Women in Tennis
Jan 02, 2019 - 01:09
As a result of the win, Switzerland progress through to the final on Saturday, while the U.S. will next take on Great Britain. A flustered Bencic slammed her racket on the court as the match leveled and she never seriously threatened in the decider.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reprimands Manchester United superstar for arriving late for training
Dec 31, 2018 - 02:09
Only the post then denied Pogba a first ever hat-trick when his low strike from the edge of the box came off the woodwork. One of the requests that Solskjaer made to his players is that they should improve in possession.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Invites Sir Alex Ferguson To Man United Training
Dec 31, 2018 - 02:07
David Brooks floated a ball into the United box and Ake jumped highest to bury a header past David de Gea . That's how we want to play, we want to attack and that's what we try to do on the pitch.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top U.S. government shutdown to extend to 2019
Dec 31, 2018 - 01:59
No matter which option Pelosi goes with, Trump won't get his $5 billion for the border wall. "They can't", he continued. A previous deal that addressed the status of Dreamers failed to pass as a result of escalating White House demands.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Maurizio Sarri defends decision to sub substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi
Dec 30, 2018 - 00:28
Chelsea will be looking to cement their position in the top four with a win when they take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.

Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth tie the knot
Dec 28, 2018 - 00:23
Hemsworth also shared a photo of them with words "My love". "10 years later", Cyrus captioned one of the pictures. Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are another couple who (barely) made it to 2018's list of high-profile weddings.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Let down by US, Syrian Kurdish leaders look to Russian Federation and Assad
Dec 28, 2018 - 00:22
Manbij was seized in 2016 from Islamic State (IS) group by the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. A Turkish foreign ministry delegation would go to Washington for talks in early January, he added.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Rain, snow continue to wreak havoc on holiday travel
Dec 28, 2018 - 00:16
It will be a colder day with highs reaching about 30 degrees with a nasty north wind of 15-30 miles per hour . Grand Forks is expected to see another 2-3 inches, while Fosston, Minn. could get 8-12 more inches.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Fears Anthony Martial is out for Man United vs Huddersfield
Dec 27, 2018 - 00:49
I don't like that managers get sacked but especially if we play the teams soon after this happened, like (Southampton) as well. The Norwegian got off to a winning start as Manchester United manager as he watched the Red Devils thump Cardiff city 5-1.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump vows no end to shutdown until wall funded
Dec 27, 2018 - 00:44
One union representing federal workers slammed Trump's claim. Trump promised to make Mexico pay for the border wall. The people of this country want border security.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mount Etna eruption triggers natural disaster in Sicily, injuring at least 10 people
Dec 27, 2018 - 00:36
Debris of a partially collapsed house sits on the street in Fleri, Sicily, after an quake triggered by Italy's Mount Etna volcano. The most seriously injured was a 70-year-old man who fractured ribs and was undergoing surgery for chest injuries.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hunt for survivors as Indonesian tsunami death toll tops 280
Dec 26, 2018 - 14:54
An eruption there in 1883 had killed 36,000 people and had sparked a tsunami that was felt around the world. Anak Krakatau is the island that emerged from the area in 1927, and has been growing ever since.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 8-Year-Old Dies in Hospital After Illegally Crossing Border into US
Dec 26, 2018 - 14:50
He is the second migrant child to have died this month after being detained at the border between Mexico and the United States. He died at the hospital shortly after midnight, CBP said, adding that the official cause of death is not known.