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

A rocket lifts off from the Xichang launch center in China's southwestern Sichuan province early on Dec. 8 2018 the day the rover was launched

The relatively unexplored far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is also known as the dark side.

The far-side landing is China's first attempt at "something that other space powers have not attempted before", Ye Quanzhi, an astronomer at Caltech, told the BBC.

A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said.

The mission is named after the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology.

As The Verge reports, exploring the far side of the Moon is a very hard task because it's always facing away from the Earth meaning communication is extremely hard.

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

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This remarkable yet uneventful landing will boost Beijing's ambitions of becoming a space superpower.

Chang'e-4 is set to carry out a number of experiments while on the moon, including planting potatoes and other seeds, low-frequency radio astronomy tests, and looking for water and other resources at the poles. China's landing on the Dark side of the moon is being hailed as a historic mission which is being seen as an important step for China's space programme.

A photo taken at 11:40 a.m. and sent back by Chang'e 4 shows a small crater and a barren surface that appears to be illuminated by a light from the lunar explorer. Followed by the United States and Russia, China is only the third country to send its own astronauts into space on its own rockets. Chang'e 4 is the fourth lunar probe launched by China since the country's lunar programme was opened in 2004.

The probe was launched from a ground-level centre in southwestern China last month, and is the second Chinese-created probe to touch down on the lunar surface, following the successful launch of the Yutu rover mission in 2013. The moon rotates at the same rate as the Earth, making it hard for people to peek at the orb's other side.

"There are rocks all over the far side that are four billion years old", she continued. The process was recorded by the camera on the lander and the images were sent back to the Earth via the relay satellite "Queqiao", the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced. This also explains why there are so much more craters on the far side - they haven't been covered by basaltic eruptions. But because the moon spins on its axis at exactly the same rate as it orbits Earth, one side remains permanently out of view.

The U.S. Congress has banned NASA from working with China on space exploration because of national security concerns.

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