SHANGHAI, December 30 – A Chinese space probe is on its way The official news agency Xinhua said today to a position to land on the dark side of the moon. This is an important step as the country seeks to advance its space program.
The probe, the Chang'e-4, entered a planned orbit today "to prepare for the first soft landing on the other side of the Moon," the news agency said, citing the Chinese space agency. It was not said when the landing would take place.
The Moon is tightly connected to the Earth and revolves at the same speed as it orbits our planet, so that the other side or the "dark side" is never visible from Earth. Previous space probes have seen the other side of the moon, but none has landed on it.
China launched the Chang & # 39; e-4 probe earlier this month, which was carried by a long-March 3B rocket. It contains a lander and a rover to explore the surface of the moon.
Xinhua said the probe had entered an elliptical lunar orbit at 8:55 am Beijing time, bringing it to its nearest point only fifteen kilometers from the Moon's surface. The Chang & # 39; e-4 entered Moon orbit for the first time on December 12th.
The tasks of Chang'e-4 include astronomical observation, the surveying of the lunar terrain, landform and mineral composition as well as the measurement of neutron radiation and the neutral atoms study the environment on the other side of the moon.
China wants to catch up with Russia and the United States by 2030 for a big space dream. Next year, the construction of its own manned space station will begin. 19659005] While China has insisted that its ambitions are purely peaceful, the US Department of Defense has accused it of carrying out activities aimed at preventing other nations in space from being able to use assets in a crisis.
The space control center chooses a "right time" to land the probe on the other side of the moon, Xinhua said. Its descent is supported by a relay satellite, the Queqiao or the Elster bridge. – Reuters