Published: Sun, January 06, 2019
Science | By Cecil Little

Chinese rover sends first pictures from the dark side of the moon

Chinese rover sends first pictures from the dark side of the moon

The Chang'e-4 spacecraft had made its descent from lunar orbit and into the pre-selected landing area with the Von Kármán crater at 02:26 universal time Thursday (10:26 Beijing time).

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.

China was excluded from the International Space Station largely due to concerns over its space program's connections to the military and US legislation barring such cooperation.

FILE- This artist's rendering provided to China's Xinhua News Agency on August 23, 2016, by the lunar probe and space project center of Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, shows a concept design for the Chinese Mars 2020 rover and lander.

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China became the first country in history to land an unmanned probe on the far side of the moon on Wednesday.

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.

"This time the Chang'e-4 mission have a very good start". While the far side is sometimes called the "dark" side, that's relative to our lack of knowledge about it: The phases of the moon seen from Earths still occur, in reverse, on the opposite side.

Melosh traces the myth back to a Walt Disney television special in 1955 that talked about it always being dark on the other side of the moon and futuristic astronauts dropping flares.

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"Building a space power is a dream that we persistently pursue", said Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the China Lunar Exploration Project, speaking with CCTV at the Beijing Aerospace Flight and Control Center.

The United States is the only other country that has carried out moon landings.

The images show Chang'e-4's work site, as the probe begins its mission to study the mineral composition and measure radiation in the region. It was initially constructed as a backup for Chang'e 3, which landed on the near side of the moon in 2013.

The Queqiao satellite is deployed about 455,000 kilometers from Earth, where it will relay communications between ground controllers and the Chang'e-4.

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Chang'e 3: First unmanned Moon landing of the Chang'e effort. China successfully placed a lander and rover on the far side of the moon with its Chang'e-4 lander. China builds already now an exclusive competition event to the worldwide space station, is mainly due to the Americans, who had rejected a few years ago a participation of China.

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