June 17, 2019
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Science & Technology

China's lunar probe lands successfully on far side of moon

Beijing, Jan 3 (efe-epa).- China's Chang'e 4 lunar probe on Thursday became the first to make a soft landing on the far side of the moon, China's National Space Administration said.

CNSA added that the lander-rover probe touched down at 10.26am Bejing time, according to state media Xinhua.

The official Global Times added that the space probe landed in the South Pole-Aitken basin of the moon and called it, "a major breakthrough in human exploration of the universe."

The mission will perform low frequency radio astronomical observation, terrain and relief analysis, detection of mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure, and the measurement of neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the hidden side of the moon.

Made up of a lander and a rover, Chang'e-4 was launched by a Long March 3B carrier rocket on Dec. 8 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province.

Four days later, Chang'e 4 entered the lunar orbit.

Communications between the probe and control stations on Earth will take place with the help of the Queqiao satellite, which was put into orbit in May.

Soviet and United States space programs photographed the dark side of the moon than 50 years ago but never landed there. In 1962 an unmanned US mission made an unsuccessful attempt.

The program Chang'e (named in honor of a goddess who, according to Chinese legend, lives on the moon) began with the launch of the first orbital probe in 2007. Four devices have been sent to the moon since.

The program intends to send a manned mission to the moon in the long term, and although no deadline has been set, some experts have indicated it may be around 2036.

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