Chinese Chang’e-4 spacecraft destined to be the first to fly to dark side of the Moon


Chinese scientists have started third phase space program by developing new and improved Chang’e-4 spacecraft, aiming to land on the far side of the Moon in 2018, previously aimed to reach the far side by 2020. The mission to the far side of the Moon is rather challenging because radio signals can’t reach there from the Earth directly. The cross communication completely relies on the relay satellites. So far no other country has landed on the dark side of the Moon, the Chang’e-4 mission will be the first mission to the far side of the Moon in the history of mankind.

Talking to Guardian, Liu Jizhong, head of the Science, Technology and Defense Industry Administration’s Lunar Exploration Center, said China will send a probe called Chang’e-4 to study geological conditions on the side that is never visible from Earth.

“The Chang’e-4’s lander and rover will make a soft landing on the back side of the moon, and will carry out in-place and patrolling surveys.”

In a separate mission, the Chinese space agency plans to land a man on the moon by 2022. They are already building a new launching site in Wenchang, closer to the equator. From the new launching site, the agency hopes to send much bigger payloads. According to a January 10, 2015 article in the Economist, China will be able to launch the Long March 9, one of the world’s highest capacity rockets, by 2030.


Photo Credit:  CNSA