Home / Science / Chang & # 4; e-4: China mission launches on the other side of the moon

Chang & # 4; e-4: China mission launches on the other side of the moon

  Chang & # 39; s E4 Rover

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Artwork: The Chang & # 39; e 4 rover explores a huge impact basin on the other side

China has launched the first mission to land a robotic vehicle on the other side of the moon, Chinese media say.

The Chang'e-4 mission will set up a static lander and rover at Von Kármán Crater. located on the side of the moon that never faces the earth.

The payload was blasted on a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

The mission will pave the way for the country to provide samples of lunar and lunar soil to Earth.

The landing will not take place until the beginning of January, when the probe is lowered on engines and deposited on the uneven terrain of the moon side.

The Von Kármán Crater is of interest to scientists as it is within the oldest and largest influence on the Moon ̵

1; the South Pole Aitken Basin. This was probably shaped by a huge asteroid strike billions of years ago.

Landers will characterize the geology of the region and the composition of rock and soil.

Due to a phenomenon called "tidal lapping," we only see one. "Face" of the moon from the earth. This is because the moon takes just as long to spin around its own axis as to complete an Earth orbit.

Although often referred to as the "dark side", this lunar surface is also illuminated by the sun and has the same phases as the near side; In this context "dark" simply means "invisible".

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The opposite side of the lunar has a thicker crust and is more crater-like than the near side

The far side looks a bit different than the more familiar near side. It has a thicker, older crust, which is equipped with more craters. There are also some of the "mares" – dark basaltic "seas" created by lava flows – visible on the near side.

The strong impact created by the South Pole Aitken Basin may have pushed the crust deep into the lunar mantle. With the instruments of Chang'e-4 could be examined, if this was the case, and a light directed to the early history of our only natural satellite.

Seed experiment

The mission will also characterize the "radio environment" on the other hand. A This test is intended to form the basis for the creation of future radio astronomy telescopes on the other hand, shielded from the earth's radio noise.

The static lander will carry a 3 kg container with potato seeds and Arabidopsis plant seeds to conduct a biological experiment. The Moon Minibiosphere experiment was designed by 28 Chinese universities.

"We want to study semen breathing and photosynthesis on the moon," Liu Hanlong, chief executive of the experiment and vice president of Chongqing University, told Xinhua state news agency earlier this year.

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China's Yutu-Rover, part of the Chang'e-3 mission, explored the moon in 2013

Xie Gengxin, chief designer of the experiment, told Xinhua, "We need to keep the temperature in the 'mini-biosphere' in the range of 1 degree to 30 degrees and properly control the humidity and nutrition tube to keep the natural light on to direct the lunar surface into the can so that the plants grow. "

Since the lander on the other side has no line of sight with our planet, they must return data via a relay satellite named Queqiao in May of this year China launches.

The probe's design is based on the design of its predecessor, Chang & # 39; e-3, which in 2013 brought landing craft to the Moon Imbrium region of the Moon. However, there are some important changes

China's moon ambitions

The lander carries two cameras; a radiation experiment built in Germany called LND; and a spectrometer that will perform low-frequency observations of radio astronomy.

The rover will carry a panoramic camera; a radar for surveying the lunar surface; an imaging spectrometer for identifying minerals; and an experiment to study the interaction of the solar wind (a stream of energetic particles from the Sun) with the lunar surface.

The mission is part of a larger Chinese lunar research program. The first and second Chang'e missions were designed to collect data from orbit, while the third and fourth were built for surface operations.

Chang & # 39; s-5 and 6 are examples of return missions that provide lunar rocks and soils in laboratories on Earth.

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