China’s Historic Mission To The Dark Side Of The Moon Launches Tomorrow

China set to launch the first ever rover to Moons far side

China’s bold mission to land a probe on the dark side of the Moon

To get transmissions from the lander on the far side of the moon back to Earth, China launched a satellite in May called the Queqiao that will act as a relay.

What would the lander and rover do?

Mission control will need to grapple with communication difficulties, given the spacecraft will travel to the side of the Moon, which is always facing away from Earth.

The so-called bound Rotation ensures that, seen from the earth, only one side of the moon is - 41 percent of the moon's surface are hidden.

Chang'e-4 is a precursor to another mission, Chang'e-5, which is scheduled to launch next year.

The moon is tidally locked to Earth, meaning the natural satellite takes about the same amount of time to spin once on its axis as it does to orbit our planet.

The landing will not occur until early January, when the probe will descend on thrusters and touch down on the rugged terrain of the lunar far side.

On Friday (~18:30 UTC/14:30 ET/02:30 local Saturday) Chang'e-4 will be launched to make the 1st attempt at a landing on the far side of the Moon.

After touchdown, a rover carried by the robotic lander will begin to explore the area and collect data, taking photos and testing for radiation.

Although located near the moon's south pole, Chang'e 4's target crater is still subjected to extreme temperature changes as the moon rotates once every 28 days.

The lander-rover will also use its Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), one of the eight scientific payloads on board that were described in the paper, to sample the lunar surface and what lies directly beneath.

The probe also will carry a tin filled with the seeds of potatoes and arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, Xinhua reported.

China National Space Administration (CNSA) said that their ultimate goal is to build a moon base for future human exploration.

In May, China launched a relay satellite called Queqiao that's now orbiting about 450,000 kilometers (280,000 miles) from Earth, where a gravitational equilibrium can be maintained so it stays on course to relay messages from the rover back to Earth.

The Chang'e 4 lunar mission lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province in the early morning, confirmed by the Twitter account of the country's state-run Xinhua news agency.

The overall design of the new rover is inherited from Jade Rabbit, according to the chief designer of China's lunar probe program. This time, however, the agency said that it wants to establish permanent settlements on the lunar surface.

Chang'e-5 and 6 are sample return missions, delivering lunar rock and soil to laboratories on Earth. The first and second Chang'e missions were created to gather data from orbit, while the third and fourth were built for surface operations.

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