A Lander Is Headed to The Far Side of The Moon

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China on Saturday launched a first probe ever to explore the dark side of the Moon, marking another milestone in its ambitious space program, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

No other mission or any country till date, has attempted to land on the far side of the moon, as communication is cut off and there is no direct visibility from Earth. The far side is believed to have a thicker crust and is pockmarked by relatively more and deeper craters than the near side.

To land an improved (lighter) model "Chang'e-4" on the moon should at the beginning of 2019, reports TASS.

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And as no lander or rover has ever touched the particular area of moon, China grabs the top spot as the first nation to explore the area.

China has promoted global cooperation in its lunar exploration program, with four scientific payloads of the Chang'e-4 mission developed by scientists from Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

China started sending robotic probes to the moon in 2007 and has carried out several lunar missions since then. However, it is not a "dark side" of the moon because the far side is as illuminated by the sun as the "near side" facing us.

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Chang'e is the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology.

The Chang'e-4 mission also includes contributions by scientists from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia. The Chang'e 4 rover is 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and about 1 meter (3.3 feet) wide and tall, with two foldable solar panels and six wheels.

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 USA legislation barring such cooperation amid concerns over its strong military connections. The scientific instruments on its lander are still operating, making Chang'e-3 the longest working man-made probe on the moon.

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Although the Chinese government has long stressed its "peaceful motives" in space exploration, Washington increasingly views China - along with Russian Federation - as a potential threat, accusing Beijing of working to bring new weapons into space and prompting President Donald Trump to announce the establishment of a US Space Force by 2020.

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