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China lands on the Darkside of the Moon


 
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 3 weeks ago '10        #1
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China lands on the Darkside of the Moon
 

 

BEIJING (AP) — China’s burgeoning space program achieved a first on Thursday: a landing on the so-called dark side of the moon.

Three nations — the United States, the former Soviet Union and more recently China — have sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which faces Earth, but this landing is the first-ever on the far side.

The China National Space Administration said the 10:26 a.m. touchdown of the Chang’e 4 craft has “opened up a new chapter in human lunar exploration.”

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. Its name comes from that of a Chinese goddess who, according to legend, has lived on the moon for millennia.

The landing highlights China’s growing ambitions to rival the U.S., Russia and Europe in space, and more broadly, to cement the nation’s position as a regional and global power.

“The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger,” President Xi Jinping said in 2013, shortly after becoming China’s leader.

In year-end wrap-ups, Chinese media and officials hailed the Dec. 8 launch of Chang’e 4 as one of the nation’s major achievements in 2018. The landing on Thursday was announced to the public by state broadcaster CCTV at the top of the noon news.

“On the whole, China’s space technology still lags behind the West, but with the landing on the far side of the moon, we have raced to the front,” said Hou Xiyun, a professor at Nanjing University’s school of astronomy and space science.

He added that China has Mars, Jupiter and asteroids in its sights: “There’s no doubt that our nation will go farther and farther.”

In 2013, Chang’e 3, the predecessor craft to the current mission, made the first moon landing since the former Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976. The United States is the only country that has successfully sent a person to the moon, though China is considering a crewed mission too.

For now, it plans to send a Chang’e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples — also not done since the Soviet mission in 1976.

The moon’s far side isn’t always dark but is sometimes called the dark side because it faces away from Earth and is relatively unknown. It has a different composition than the near side, where previous missions have landed.

Chang’e 4, a combined lander and rover, will make astronomical observations and probe the structure and mineral composition of the terrain above and below the surface.

“The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference from radio signals from Earth,” mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “This probe can fill the gap of low-frequency observation in radio astronomy and will provide important information for studying the origin of stars and nebula evolution.”

One challenge of operating on the far side of the moon is communicating with Earth. China launched a relay satellite in May so that Chang’e 4 can send back information.
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6 comments for "China lands on the Darkside of the Moon"

 3 weeks ago '16        #2
@MR SMOOTH$ 6 heat pts
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 3 weeks ago '18        #3
BrooklynDamien 2 heat pts
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So the moon doesn't rotate? Why not? They say the Earth rotates because of gravity, yes? The other planets rotate, no? Why doesn't the moon? Or does it? If it does then how is there a far side? Wtf is going on....ya know what... Never mind.... Don't lie to me...

 3 weeks ago '05        #4
dasill 12 heat pts12
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 BrooklynDamien said
So the moon doesn't rotate? Why not? They say the Earth rotates because of gravity, yes? The other planets rotate, no? Why doesn't the moon? Or does it? If it does then how is there a far side? Wtf is going on....ya know what... Never mind.... Don't lie to me...
The*moon*orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the*moon*to*rotate*once on its axis. As a result, the*moon does*not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous*rotation
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 3 weeks ago '15        #5
2Cold 587 heat pts587
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 BrooklynDamien said
So the moon doesn't rotate? Why not? They say the Earth rotates because of gravity, yes? The other planets rotate, no? Why doesn't the moon? Or does it? If it does then how is there a far side? Wtf is going on....ya know what... Never mind.... Don't lie to me...
 dasill said
The*moon*orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the*moon*to*rotate*once on its axis. As a result, the*moon does*not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous*rotation

[video - click to view]


 3 weeks ago '04        #6
---Max-Payne--- 347 heat pts347
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Watch out for the aliens living there
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 2 weeks ago '06        #7
simplyAmazin 3 heat pts
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 dasill said
The*moon*orbits the Earth once every 27.322 days. It also takes approximately 27 days for the*moon*to*rotate*once on its axis. As a result, the*moon does*not seem to be spinning but appears to observers from Earth to be keeping almost perfectly still. Scientists call this synchronous*rotation
It rotates just enough so the same side is always facing us

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