Thursday, January 3, 2019

China lands a spacecraft on the Moon’s far side

In a world first, China lands a spacecraft gently on the Moon’s far side.

This evening, China became the first nation to land a spacecraft gently on the far side of the Moon, according to China Global Television Network America. A Chinese robotic lander and rover, which launched from China in early December, descended into a crater on the side of the Moon that’s always facing away from Earth. The touchdown marks a significant technological feat for the country, and puts China in an elite category of spaceflight achievement all its own.

The landing is part of China’s Chang’e-4 mission — one of a series of planned missions to explore the lunar surface. Prior to this program, China sent a lander and a rover to the Moon, making it the third country to ever softly land on the lunar surface. That lander, part of the Chang’e-3 mission, went to the Moon’s near side, the one we see at all times.

No one has ever been able to pull off a far side landing before, because it’s so difficult to communicate with robots on the side of the Moon we cannot see. Without a direct line of sight with Earth, there’s no simple way to get radio signals to spacecraft on the lunar far side. But China was prepared for that. The country launched a lunar satellite in May, one that will sit in space near the Moon and provide a communications relay between the Chang’e-4 spacecraft and Earth.

In this photo provided Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.(China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

Information Source : www.theverge.com
Image Source : https://phys.org
logoblog

Thanks for reading China lands a spacecraft on the Moon’s far side

Previous
« Prev Post

No comments:

Post a Comment