China has launched a rover on the other side of the moon to explore for the first time the "dark side" of the moon.
The moon probe mission Chang & # 39; e-4 launched on a Long According to the official news agency Xinhua from the March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China in the early morning.
The rover is expected to land around the New Year to conduct experiments and explore the pristine terrain
The probe carries six experiments from China and four from abroad. These include low-frequency radio astronomical studies aimed at exploiting the lack of interference on the other side ̵
& # 39; dark side & # 39;
The near side of the moon, which is "neatly locked" and always faces the earth and has many flat areas to sit on, is the other side mountainous and rugged.
It was not until 1959 the former Soviet Union conquered The first images of the strongly crater-like surface reveal the secret of the dark side of the moon.
No lander or rover has ever touched the surface there and positioned China as the first nation to explore the terrain.
The biggest challenge will be communicating with the other side of the moon, which is not accessible by direct signal and invisible from Earth, said Professor Ouyang Ziyuan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the chief scientist of the China Lunar Exploration Plan ,
"We will be like doves and the blind," he said.
As a solution, China unleashed the satellite Queqiao ("Elster Bridge") into the Moon's orbit in May and positioned it so that it could pass data and commands between Lander and Earth.
Beijing is investing billions in its military space program, hoping to have an occupied space station by 2022 and eventually send people to the moon.
Chang & # 39; e-4 will be the second Chinese spacecraft to land on the Moon after 2013's rover mission Yutu ("Jade Rabbit").
#BREAKING : China launches Chang's e-4 lunar probe in the early hours of Saturday. It is expected that for the first time a soft landing will be carried out on the other side of the moon . Pic.twitter.com/r0Fwq2RM4U
– China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 7, 2018
Once on the Moon On the surface, the Rover faces a series of extreme challenges.
During the moonlit, which lasts 14 days of the earth, temperatures drop to minus 173 degrees Celsius, while the moonlight lasts 14 days of Earth high to 127 C.
Instruments must withstand these fluctuations and generate enough energy to to keep her up in the long night.
Yutu mastered these challenges and, after initial setbacks, measured the Moon's surface for 31 months. His success has given China's space program a big boost.
Beijing plans to send another Lunar Landing driver, Chang'e-5, next year to collect samples and bring them back to Earth.
It's one of a series of ambitious Chinese targets, including a reusable launcher until 2021, a super-powerful rocket that can deliver payloads heavier than the NASA and private rocket company SpaceX, a lunar base, a permanent space station, and a Mars -Rover.