CHINA AND THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

Posted by Beverley Smith on

 

 

 

The main reason why we were unable to see the far side of the moon is because of the fact that most satellites often rotate exactly once per orbit in order to keep that side hidden from view. Although, it gets just as much sunshine as the near side, the far side of the moon is also commonly referred to as the “dark side of the moon”.  However, astronauts have recently been able to map the far side of the moon from lunar orbit. But no mission whether unmanned or manned has ever landed there.  

The main reason why people have never landed on the far side moon is not because it is harder to reach but because the earth is permanently out of view and direct radio transmission to and from spacecrafts are impossible.

Some time ago, the China’s space agency announced its plan to become the first agency to successfully land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon which is always hidden from view. This mission will prove to be a little challenging because of the fact that it is impossible to receive and transmit radio transmission from there which makes communication with their ground space station impossible. But the success of such mission will provide humans with more insights on many things that we do not know about the moon such as what is going on deep beneath its thick crust.

The spacecraft that was designed to be launched into the far side of the moon by China is known as Chang’e 4 and it was scheduled launched sometime in late 2018. However, this spacecraft was able to reach the far side of the moon on January 2, 2019. The Chang’e 4 was named after the popular Moon goddess in China. This mission is the next space of china exploration on the moon. This mission is mainly built on the success of China Chang’e 3 spacecraft which was able to successfully land on the moon in December 2013 and deploy a robotic rover known as Yutu.

Although, the new robotic rover, Yutu was unable to move after its second night, but it was able to continue providing data that later led to the discovery of a new type of rock. The Chang’e 4 was the 20th spacecraft in history to successfully touch down on the moon and China’s second lunar spacecraft. China space agency has also revealed that it has plans to launch another spacecraft to land on the moon by the end of 2019. This spacecraft will be called Chang’e 5 and it will be able to enable astronauts to scoop up samples and return the specimens to scientist on Earth for detailed analysis in ground based laboratories. 

Another history made by the Chang’e 4 space mission is plant growth on the moon. Almost two weeks after the Chang’e 4 landed successfully on the moon, the China National Space Administration announced that the cotton and potato seeds that were taken to the moon on the Chang’e spacecraft have started to germinate. Although, plants have previously been grown on the International Space Station, this marks the first time biological matter has been grown on the moon.

The seed for these plants were made dormant for the 20 days duration of the trip to the moon. The cotton and potato seed are not growing in a sealed container on the spacecraft where they will attempt to create a small biosphere. This mission is considered a huge step in the consideration of future survival in space.

 

REFERENCES

ABC

Fortune

Space

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  • I had no idea that we couldn’t contact anyone through the moon. Did they find that out by accident when they sent something there or are they just making an educated guess based on the size of the moon?

    Lilly on

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