China declares Chang'e-4 mission complete success

14 January, 2019, 13:29 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • China Clearly a Country in a Hurry When It Comes to Space

China's "Chang E-4" spacecraft, which landed on the moon, has sent the first picture showing the area of the landing site better.

Although the far side is often mistakenly referred to as the "dark" side of the Moon, it is no more dark than the near side that is visible for Earth.

The panoramic view of the far side of the Moon captured by the Change'e 4 lander.

After making a soft landing on January 3 at 10:26 am, Chang'e 4 released a lunar rover to roam and survey its surroundings in the Von Karman crater, the moon's largest, oldest and deepest one, located in the South Pole-Aitken basin. There are also very few of the "maria" - dark basaltic "seas" created by lava flows - that are evident on the more familiar near side.

"We chose a vertical descent strategy to avoid the influence of the mountains on the flight track", Zhang He, executive director of the Chang'e-4 project said in a statement.

China's national space agency has released the first panoramic images of the far side of the Moon since the historic landing earlier this month.

The moon is "tidally locked" to Earth in its rotation so the same side is always facing Earth.

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A ring panorama shot taken by the Chang'e lander of the landing site.

CLEP said: "The ground receiving image was clear and intact, the Chinese and foreign scientific loads were working normally, and the detection data was valid". To overcome the problem, the China National Space Administration launched the Queqiiao relay satellite, last May to assist with the relay exchange between Earth and the Chang'e-4 probe.

Scientists have made a preliminary analysis on the terrains and landform surrounding the probe according to the panoramic pictures.

Now that Chang'e 4 snapped some footage, CNSA aims to conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveys of moon landforms, measure neutron radiation, and detect mineral composition.

He said the Chang'e-4 landed at an altitude of almost minus 6,000 metres.

"The information from the depths of the moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", he said.

"The thicker dust shows that the lunar regolith in the region has undergone longer space weathering, which also gives strong evidence of the region being older".

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