China said on Saturday that it had launched the first-ever lunar probe to explore the far side of the moon by landing on it. The far side of the moon was officially observed in 1959 by the Soviet Luna 3 spacecraft.
If the mission succeeds, it will catapult China into the forefront of lunar exploration with a landing that no other nation has even dared to attempt. Today China will launch the first spacecraft that will travel to the dark side of the moon, writes the Chronicle.info with reference to UNIAN.
China has launched a ground-breaking mission to land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russian Federation, the European Union and the US.
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Chang'e-4 will land inside the moon's oldest, biggest, and deepest impact structure, the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin.
They include low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side - as well as mineral and radiation tests, Xinhua cited the China National Space Administration as saying.
"China is anxious to get into the record books with its space achievements", said Joan Johnson-Freese, a professor at the US Naval War College and an expert on China's space program.
As a solution, China in May blasted the Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge") satellite into the moon's orbit, positioning it so that it can relay data and commands between the lander and earth.
Within the SPA, it will touch down on a crater called Von Kármán. It demonstrates the competitiveness of the country's space programme on the worldwide scene.
Of the $16.1 billion invested in private space companies and partnerships since 2009, China now represents three percent, with about half a billion dollars. They hope to put a human on the Moon by the 2030s.
It is expected to soft land on the far side of the Moon in January, unveiling the mysterious dark side which is unknown. The scientific instruments on its lander are still operating, making Chang'e-3 the longest working man-made probe on the moon.
The mission is trickier than usual because there is no direct line between the lander and Earth.
Previously, NASA released a recording of the noise of the wind on Mars.