Chang'e-4 Probe Touches Down on Far Side of the Moon | Space Exploration
07 January, 2019, 19:10
On Wednesday night (Jan. 2), the Chang'e 4 rover and its stationary-lander companion pulled off the first-ever soft touchdown on the lunar far side, coming to a rest inside the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater. A photo posted online by China's space agency showed tracks the rover left as headed away from the spacecraft.
Nevertheless, this is a significant step in China's bid to become a leading power in space exploration, alongside the United States and Russian Federation.
"Although this was one small step for the rover, I think it is one big step for the Chinese people", he said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV, echoing the famous quote by USA astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969.
Researchers hope that low-frequency observations of the cosmos from the far side, where radio signals from Earth are blocked by the moon, will help scientists learn more about the early days of the solar system and even the birth of the universe's first stars.
China has released photos of its lunar rover leaving track marks on the far side of the moon after the country's historic landing. When there's a full moon in our sky, the far side is dark. Both China's space community and public have taken pride in the accomplishment, with some drawing comparisons to the US.
"I think this is very good evidence that we are now able to compete with the Americans", said energy company employee Yao Dajun.
China's Chang'e 4 craft on Thursday became the first to land on the far side.
The news inspired dreamier thoughts for advertising employee Shang Yuegang. It has a maximum speed of 200 metres (220 yards) per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) tall.
"The surface is soft and it is similar that you are walking on the snow", Shen Zhenrong, the rover designer from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said on CCTV.
China's Chang'e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon Thursday, becoming the first spacecraft soft-landing on the moon's uncharted side never visible from Earth.
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