China's Lunar Landing May Mean Potatoes And Flowers Grow On The Moon

Audrey Hill
January 4, 2019

A simulated landing process of Chang'e-4 lunar probe is seen through the monitor at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Jan 3, 2019.

China launched the Chang'e-4 mission to land on the far side of the moon back in December.

"The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference of radio signals from Earth", mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to Xinhua. Traveling to the far side of the moon presents certain technical challenges - namely, it makes communication harder.

The surface is called the far side because it never faces Earth.

Now it has landed, the Chang'e-4 is tasked with collecting data on the far side of the Moon, including on the structure of its surface, mantle, as well as its minerals, according to CGTN.

TRT World spoke to Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Keele University Jacco van Loon.

Chang'e 4 will also measure the lunar temperature during its entire mission, analyze the chemical compositions of lunar rocks and soils and carry out low-frequency radio astronomical observation and research.

Chang'e-4 took off from southwestern China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center on December 8 and landed in the 110-mile wide Von Kármán crater Thursday after traveling through space for 26 days.

As we've previously reported, the Chang'e-4 lander will relay messages via the Queqiao satellite, which is now sitting in orbit around the Moon.

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The China National Space Administration (CNSA) landed the robotic probe, Chang'e 4 in the unexplored South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest, oldest, deepest, crater on the moon's surface.

"I imagine we will see an announcement the Chinese do intend to send Taikonauts to the moon by 2030", said Davis. China's space agency was quick to post new photos snapped from the lander, declaring the touchdown and deployment of its lunar rover a success.

The basin may contain information about the Moon that has so far eluded scientists, such as whether it once had water.

In this photo provided on January 3, 2019, by the China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, an image taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe after its landing.

That satellite has been orbiting the moon since May 2018.

Months back, China launched relay satellites that help the lander and rover to remain in contact with its handlers on Earth despite not being in direct line-of-sight.

David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences at The Open University, U.K., highlighted in a piece for The Conversation that only the USA and Soviet Union have landed spacecraft on the Moon, in missions steered by humans or which "relied on luck for a safe landing".

Once the rover touched down safely on the lunar planet, it will begin its mission to explore the inner workings of the moon.

Infographic of the Chang'e-4 lunar landing mission. The probe entered an elliptical path around the moon last weekend, drawing up to 15-kilometre close from the surface.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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