Science 3 min read

First: China Lands on the Far Side of the Moon

In a historic landing, China's Chang'E 4 Lunar Probe has touched down on the far side of the moon, making it the first man-made object to do so.

The Von Karman crater | Wikimedia Commons

The Von Karman crater | Wikimedia Commons

China’s Chang’E 4 Lunar probe has made its historic soft landing on the far side of the moon.

Nearly a month after the Chinese National Space Administration launched its Chang’E 4 lunar probe en route to the far side of the moon, the spacecraft has finally reached its destination and reportedly made a successful soft landing. The feat is a significant achievement for the Chinese space agency as the Chang’E lander is the first human craft to touch down and explore this side of the moon.

The lunar probe landed in the Von Kármán crater on the southern hemisphere of the far side of the moon. Unlike NASA’s missions to Mars in November and the flyby of Ultima Thule on Tuesday, the Chang’E 4’s landing was not televised but only confirmed via China’s CCTV TV network.

Read More: China to Land Chang’E-4 Rover on the Far Side of the Moon

Chinese Space Agency yet to Issue Official Statement

Some accounts in the Chinese social media network Weibo reported that the lunar probe touched down at around 6:26 PM Pacific Time. Other Chinese state-run media outlets, China Daily and China Global Television Network, tweeted about the landing. However, these outlets then subsequently deleted their posts. At the moment, the world is still waiting for an official statement from CNSA.

According to experts, Chang’E 4’s landing will require the usage of laser-ranging and optical cameras for navigation, velocity control, and to avoid coarse hazards. Due to the radio darkness, sending and receiving signals from the far side of the moon is quite challenging. Due to this, the Chang’E 4 lunar probe was on its own as it descended onto the lunar surface.

For the lander and rover to communicate with its operators here on Earth, the Chinese space agency also launched the Queqiao relay satellite into a halo orbit over the dark side of the moon. The satellite is entirely responsible for relaying all data from the Chang’E lander back to Earth.

As the world waits for an official statement from the Chinese Space Agency, other nations such as the U.S and Australia have begun to congratulate the agency on its achievement. However, it is yet to be seen whether this will lead to a new era of lunar exploration by other space agencies.

Do you believe that this could just be the beginning of China’s space exploration domination?

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Rechelle Ann Fuertes

Rechelle is an SEO content producer, technical writer, researcher, social media manager, and visual artist. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with family and friends.

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