Successful space mission: China's objectives with the moon

  • Successful space mission: China's objectives with the moon

Successful space mission: China's objectives with the moon

A camera is also housed inside the (presumably very expensive) "lunar mini biosphere" experiment, so that scientists on earth can monitor the plants to see whether they perform photosynthesis, sprout, grow and bloom while Chang'e-4 explores the moon's far side.

The spacecraft has taken pictures of the far side of the moon much longer, but no one has ever landed on the far side of the moon before.

Image of the Yutu-2 rover disembarking from the Chang'e-4 mission's lander. A relay satellite named Queqiao was launched before to facilitate communications.

Yutu-2 operates in a odd magnetic environment courtesy of its landing site, the South Pole-Aitken basin.

Having barely landed on the lunar surface, Chang'e-4 transmitted its first images. The Aitken basin is regarded to have formed during a massive collision in the earliest history of the moon.

In recent years, each significant achievement made by China's space industry has drawn global attention.

Other scientific objectives include measuring the chemical composition of lunar rocks and regolith, measuring lunar surface temperatures, studying cosmic rays, and observing the solar corona to learn more about the evolution and transport of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) between the Sun and the Earth. For all those uninitiated and confused, the far side of the Moon is that portion which is rarely studied by the researchers.

"The relay satellite communicates with Earth using radio waves". Harvard University astronomer Avi Loeb observed that the relay satellite required to dispatch information by far side also pollutes the sky.

Sir Edward Appleton, the Yorkshire scientist born in Bradford who discovered the ionosphere and realised its importance for radio communications and its limitations for astronomy would be delighted with the landing of the Chinese spacecraft Chang'e 4 landing on the far side of the Moon and its implications for science.

China is a relative newcomer to space travel compared to the United States and Russian Federation, but has been making up for lost time at a rapid rate. The moon Mission is a between step to the long-term objective of China "in every aspect of a space", as formulated by the Beijing leadership as early as 2016.