China will start off 2019 by landing on the Moon

03 January, 2019, 12:10 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • An image of the rover for China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe

China launched the first mission to the moon that is set to make a soft landing on the moon's far side, sometimes called the dark side.

China's space program has benefited from cooperation with Russian Federation and European nations, although it was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station, mainly due to U.S. legislation barring such cooperation amid concerns over its strong military connections.

A Chinese space probe is moving into position to land on the dark side of the Moon for the first time, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

A total eclipse occurs as the Moon passes through the centre of Earth's darkest shadow - the umbra.

The State-owned conglomerate previously said that the spacecraft would fly 26 days before landing on the lunar surface.

China probe readies to land on dark side of the Moon

China landed its Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit" rover on the moon five years ago and plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe there this year and have it return to Earth with samples - the first time that will have been done since 1976. But the Smithsonian Institution, the American museums and research centers group, is reporting that the landing is expected to take place in a day or two. Its descent is being aided by a relay satellite, the Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge. Image made on January 2, 2019.

In early 2019, the Chinese civilian space program aims to land the lunar probe at Aitkin Basin, a big impact crater by the Moon's south pole, NPR reported.

On Oct. 13, the full moon will be a blood moon, which occurs when the moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth as the sun. They cover about 16 percent of the lunar surface and majority are on the side facing Earth. From South America, people can see the end of this eclipse before the Moon rises.

They were dubbed maria, Latin for "seas". The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to see it with the naked eye. The lander is also equipped with a rover which will explore the lunar surface to a limited extent.

Since the Chang'e-4 entered the lunar orbit on December 12, the ground control center in Beijing has trimmed the probe's orbit twice and tested the communication link between the probe and the relay satellite Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge, which is operating in the halo orbit around the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the earth-moon system. Let's take a closer look at the three bits in its name. "We should be able to identify the lander and rover tracks if not the rover itself", Robinson said.

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