China is landing a spacecraft on the other side of the moon
Launched on December 8, Chang & # 39; could approach the end of his journey to the pristine moon's territory.
The news: China Daily reports that the spacecraft entered an elliptical moon shift on the weekend, passing as close as 15 kilometers above the moon's surface. On January 3, in Beijing, the attempt will attempt to land in a large deep basin on the landing page, although no official announcement has been made.
Radio Science: Assuming it moves down safely, Chang 4 will perform a series of radio astronomy experiments and test whether plants can grow in the moon's gravity. The distant side of the moon has a great promise as a place to study the cosmos using radio waves, because it removes much of the interference that terrestrial and orbiting telescopes suffer.
China's Moon Travel: Since the Chinese Moon Study Program began in 2004, China's space agency CNSA has launched two unmanned circuit trials, Chang's 1 and Chang's 2, as well as Chang's 3 Lunar Lander and Rover. Chang 3 was the first spacecraft to land on the moon since 1976, but it did not move far – it lost its roving abilities after approx. one month. The success of the Chang 4 mission would be an important milestone in China's bid to play its place as a dominant incumbent. Changes 5 scheduled for launch later this year will try to bring moon samples back from their trip to the moon. But a successful touchdown is not near guaranteed. Brian Harvey, author of China in the room, Quartz told us that there is only a 50% chance of the craft surviving the landing.
Moon shot: The moon is becoming a very busy place. The US, India, Japan and Russia also have plans for upcoming moon landers, and the first private moon landing is expected in 2019 when Google's Lunar XPrize participants finally make their launch attempts.