China makes history as first to land a spacecraft on far side of moon

3 January 2019 10:55 am - 15     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


China successfully landed the Chang’e 4 spacecraft on the far side of the moon this morning, Beijing time, according to state news agency Xinhua, becoming the first in history to touch the lunar surface unseen by those on Earth.

The Chang’e 4 mission launched in early December. It took the spacecraft three days to travel to the moon, where it spent the last few weeks in orbit preparing for touch down on the Von Karman crater. The crater is a relatively flat spot on the moon’s far side.

“China’s Chang’e-4 probe softlands on Moon’s far side,” the state news agency tweeted today.

Citing the China National Space Administration, Xinhua said the space probe, made up of a lander and a rover, “landed at the preselected landing area on the far side of the moon at 10:26 a.m. Beijing Time.”

Landing on the far side is a technical challenge, as there is no direct way to communicate with the spacecraft as it nears its target. China put a relay satellite in orbit around the moon in May to overcome that communication challenge.

The far side of the moon has been seen and mapped before, even by astronauts of the Apollo missions. But the successful landing of Chang’e 4 represents the first time any spacecraft has touched down on the moon’s far side.

Chang’e 4 represents one of the flagship parts of China’s heavy investment and growing capabilities in space through the China National Space Administration. This mission comes about two years after China’s successful Chang’e 3 mission, the first soft landing on the moon since 1976. Similar in design to that Chang’e 3 craft and its “Jade Rabbit” rover, the Chang’e 4 lander and rover carries a bigger payload and more capabilities. The space agency will use the craft to study geological conditions on the far side of the moon.

The Chang’e name comes from the Chinese goddess of the moon. In the ancient tale, Chang’e died after taking an elixir. When she flew to the heavens, she landed on the moon as her final resting place.

  Comments - 15

  • Unchikun Thursday, 03 January 2019 11:00 AM

    Oops! The media hype. I can not even remember when the mankind landed a space craft on the moon. How may decades ago. This is where technology stands with respect to the US.

    Palle Thursday, 03 January 2019 11:17 AM

    For the record America never landed on moon. It was all staged.

    Hrass Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:16 PM

    What a moron. You don't seem to have a grasp of how technology evolves. Keep you backwardness in your parliament. This probe landed on the "far side" of the moon. This is a historic touch down.

    Foriegner Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:21 PM

    Wow. Sri Lankans really are stupid. Article clearly states 'far side of the moon'. Often (erroneously) referred to as the 'dark side of the moon'.

    Zumry Thursday, 03 January 2019 11:04 AM

    So sad, Moon will be a chinese product hereafter.

    Charlie brown Thursday, 03 January 2019 11:12 AM

    Is the dark side of the moon where all the houses and restaurants are .Built there so we couldn't see em ..? Ah well there goes the neighborhood .

    Nihal Amarasekera Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:03 PM

    China over the moon.

    Amara Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:34 PM

    Congratulations. I must say, I am shocked at the ignorant comments made towards China. Are you forgetting where you are from? Pretty much the whole of South Asia is extremely backward even compared to Africa. Only India can boast some achievements.

    Mallika Thursday, 03 January 2019 05:51 PM

    Indian Science is nowhere nearer to the advanced Chinese.

    Chilly cocktail Thursday, 03 January 2019 06:03 PM

    Of course, Sri Lanka is far better than India and China ! you can see in the parament too …. scientific ministers with chilly power cocktail and knife !!!!!

    Aruj Thursday, 03 January 2019 08:10 PM

    Chilly cocktail,only an old man called Jaliya writes this way.

    Lord Wolfstein Thursday, 03 January 2019 06:23 PM

    China needs an outstation for the silk route

    Banda Thursday, 03 January 2019 08:08 PM

    Your mind is confused.

    Jack Friday, 04 January 2019 04:07 AM

    No warranty. No guarantee.

    Tinkiriya Friday, 04 January 2019 06:28 AM

    Chinese will have to learn lessons from Rohitha, our very own rocket boy as to how he plans to grows rice for us on the moon.

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