Every major nation is in the space-race. Who will send how many probes into space! And this time, China got some edge.
A government-run media outlet reported that China’s Change 4 lunar probes have landed on the dark side of the moon on Thursday. It is the first time in history when any spacecraft has landed on the far side of the moon. Many spacecraft have revolved around the moon, went up to the far side, but landing there is first achieved by China.
China’s national space administration released an official statement. It states, “The probe, comprising a lander and a rover, landed at the pre-selected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude on the far side of the moon at 10.26 am Beijing time [7.56 am Indian Standard Time].”
The first pictures of the far side of the moon have come from the spacecraft. People’s Daily China’s official Twitter account posted a picture of the moon.
#LATEST: China's Chang'e-4 probe has returned the world's first close shot of the far side of the moon via the Queqiao relay satellite after it touched down Thursday pic.twitter.com/hEE2cAkbvB
The probe was launched on December 8, 2018. Its aim was to “gain first-hand information about the terrain and lunar soil components and other scientific data, which will help enrich our understanding of the moon and the universe”, according to the executive director of the Chang’e-4 probe project.
A number of scientific and technological experiments will also be carried out by the spacecraft on the moon.
Talking about the history of the far side of the moon, it was the Soviet Union who first launched an aircraft to go to the far side. It was Luna 3, which succeeded in its mission. Then it was the United States who got the second position in the race. The US has sent three astronauts to fly around the moon in 1968. But no spacecraft in the history was able to land to on the far side. It will surely be counted as a landmark in the history of space science.