The Chinese spaceship hopes to reach the dark side of the moon has entered the lunar orbit after a journey of 240,000 miles that took 110 hours
- Chang & e-4 has successfully entered a stable lunar orbit 80 miles above the surface
- It is assumed that the probe will land on the dark side of the moon in January
- The mission communicates with the earth via a relay satellite known as Queqiao
- It will be a soft landing & # 39; in the Von Karman crater of the South Pole Aitken basin
- The crater is so deep that it is thought that it can never be seen before
The mission of China to the dark side of the moon has successfully entered a stable orbit around our natural satellite.
The 240,000-mile (385,000 km) journey took 110 hours to complete and Chang's e-4 entered an elliptical orbit 80 miles above the surface.
It is expected that the beginning of January will land somewhere on the dark side of the moon, but the secret space agency of the country has not yet announced a fixed date.
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The Chang & # 39; e-4 (image of the artist depicted) has entered the lunar orbit today and will be the first rover to land on the other side of the lunar surface. A lander helps the spaceship to the dark side of the moon
Retrorockets on the probe fired on December 12 to stabilize and slow the spacecraft.
Chang-e-4 focuses on the Von Karman crater of the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the largest in the entire solar system at 15,000 miles (24,000 km) and eight miles deep.
It began on 7 December from 6:30 GMT from the Xichang satellite launch center in Sichuan, in the southwest of China, on top of a long Mars-3B rocket.
It is expected to be a soft landing & # 39; and land on the moon after completing the 27-day journey through space.
Exploring the huge divot on the surface of the moon can shed new light on its history and geology by collecting stones that have never been seen before.
Chang & e-4 has been described as & # 39; extremely ambitious & # 39; and announced as a sign of China's growing intentions to compete with the gallantry in space travel in the US, Russia and the EU
It visits an unexplored area of the moon surface called the South Pole-Aitken basin (photo), located in the southern hemisphere of the moon
The relay satellite will fly to the Earth-Moon point in orbit around 80,000 km away from the surface of the moon (pictured)
Researchers hope that the enormous depth of the crater will enable them to study the mantle of the moon, the layer below the surface, of the moon.
Chang & e-4 has been described as & # 39; extremely ambitious & # 39; and announced as a sign of China's growing intentions to rival the bravery of the US, Russia and the EU.
To facilitate communication between the controllers on earth and the Chang & # 39; e-4 mission, China launched a relay satellite named Queqiao on May 20 and is now in an operational orbit around 40,000 miles past the moon.
EXPLORATION IN CHINESE SPACE
China landed its Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit", five years ago on the moon and plans to send its Chang's E-5 probe there next year.
Change-5 is the successor to the current mission and returns to Earth with the first samples of the moon since 1976.
The Asian superpower is also considering a manned lunar mission.
On September 29, 2011, China launched Tiangong 1.
On December 14, 2013 China's Chang'em became the first object to softly land on the moon since Luna 24 in 1976
A second space lab, Tiangong 2, launched on 15 September 2016.
A larger base permanent space station would be the third and final phase of Project 921.
The first part, designated as Tiangong 3, is scheduled for the launch after Tiangong 2.
The Chinese space station is expected to be completed in 2020.
China is also planning to have its first displaced Mars reconnaissance program take place sometime between now and 2033, followed by a manned phase in 2040-2060.
The payload will consist of materials needed for experiments, including a low-frequency radio spectrometer, a panoramic camera and a moon-penetrating radar, among other things.
The probe and explorer will use Queqiao to get their findings back to China. Because the landing took place on the dark side of the moon, it needed its own satellite to be able to send information back
This will be the primary form of communication between the earth and the spacecraft.
The probe and explorer will use Queqiao to get their findings back to China. Because the landing took place on the dark side of the moon, it needed its own satellite to be able to send information back.
China's final mission closely follows the landing of NASA & # 39; s InSight spacecraft on Mars at a location less than 400 miles (640 kilometers) from the American rover Curiosity, the only other operating robot on Mars.
Chang & # 39; e-4 launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, Southwest China at 6:30 GMT on December 7
The Chinese plan includes two missions. One places a satellite in orbit around the moon to send information and data back to earth (left). The other part concerns a lander and a rover who work together to explore the surface of the moon (right)