China sent a lunar rover on the back side of the moon

China launched the world's first mission to land on the lunar farside. Start the automatic interplanetary station "Chang'e-4" on board the launch vehicle "Long March-3B" conducted December 8 at about 02:00 local time (7 December at 21:00 Moscow time) from the Baikonur Xichang (south-western Sichuan province ). If all goes according to plan, the devices "Chang'e-4" will enter history, the world's first landing on the far side of our satellite somewhere in the beginning of January next year.

China sent a lunar rover on the back side of the moon

The mission of "Chang'e-4" consists of a stationary lander and rover faced by different scientific objectives, mainly aimed at the study largely unexplored regions of our planet's natural satellite.

China sent a lunar rover on the back side of the moon

The launch of the carrier rocket "Long March-3B" from the Baikonur Xichang 8 December 2018

To a place where nobody has never been

The moon is in the tidal capture our planet. In other words, the satellite takes almost the same amount of time to complete one revolution around its axis and around the planet. Therefore, from the Earth, we always observe only one side of our cosmic neighbor, that is, so-called neighbor. The far side of the satellite is always outside our field of vision. That is why this mission is all so much interest.

At the same time, finding on the far side will obstruct communication between the earth and the lander and rover - Luna solid, direct signals are blocked.

China sent a lunar rover on the back side of the moon

A view of the back side of the Moon and the Earth on its background (top left of the picture). Picture was taken during a space mission, "Chang'e-5T1" service module in 2014.

To solve the problem, China has launched an orbiting satellite "Tsyuetsyao" in May this year. It is located in the Moon Lagrange point L2, and will act as a repeater, transmitting and receiving information from the devices, "Chang'e-4" and the Earth.

Most likely, the signals will come from the bottom pocket of the crater - 186-kilometer hole in the lunar surface, which according to expectations, have a network module and a lunar rover. Crater is part of the South Pole Basin - Aitken - one of the largest shock formations in the solar system. From one end to its length is 2,500 kilometers.

China sent a lunar rover on the back side of the moon

to Chinese Yuytu rover, lander photographed "Chang'e-3" in December 2013.

Many of the new scientific data

As part of the mission of "Chang'e-4" is planned to use a whole set of scientific instruments. Lander equipped cameras Landing Camera (LCAM), Terrain Camera (TCAM), low-pass spectrometer (LFS), as well as a neutron dosimeter (LND), provided Germany. Lunokhod has a panoramic camera (PCAM), penetrating radar (LPR), the spectrometer the visible and near-infrared (VNIS), and compact analyzer uncharged particles (ASAN), represented by Swedish scientists.

All of this equipment will allow "Chang'e-4" study in detail the environment of the surrounding space. For example, low-frequency spectrometer (LFS) will allow to find out information on the composition of the lunar surface at the back of the satellite, but through penetrating radar (LPR), scientists can learn more about the surface of the layered structure. This information will help better understand how the reverse side of the moon is different from the one that is always directed to the Earth. For example, a large basalt plain, called lunar maria, are more common in the near side of the satellite, but virtually absent in its far side. By the way, do not call the reverse side of the "dark side." In fact, she gets as much sunlight as and near. "Chang'e-4" also expects some radio astronomy work - just what we needed would have no interference on the reverse side with the Earth. Orbiting satellite "Tsyuetsyao" is also engaged in the collection of astronomical data, using for this purpose Low-Frequency Explorer tool, which is a joint development of the Netherlands and China.

With the lander is also planned to hold a biological experiment. On board of the device is a small closed ecosystem, which contains eggs and silkworm seeds of tomato and Arabidopsis. Scientists want to check whether these organisms survive and develop on the lunar surface.

Throw the moon

China sent a lunar rover on the back side of the moon

Mission Running "Chang'e-4"

The mission of "Chang'e-4" is part of a larger program for the development of China's moon. In 2007 and 2010 the country went to the lunar orbit vehicles "Chang'e-1" and "Chang'e-2". In December 2013 at the satellite surface of the near side landed lander "Chang'e-3" and the rover Yuytu. "Chang'e-4" was originally designed as a backup mission, but after the partial success of "Chang'e-3", it was decided to run it as a separate mission.

In October 2014, China launched a mission of "Chang'e-5T1", during which the test apparatus, returning back to Earth after 8 days was sent to fly around the Moon.

Mission is also preparing "Chang'e-5." In its course it is planned to collect samples of the lunar surface on the near side of the satellite and back to Earth. Currently under development. It was planned to launch in 2017, but decided to move to the 2019 th. According to earlier statements made by Chinese officials, the country also plans to conduct manned missions to the Moon, but the timing of these missions are still unclear. Most likely, it will be soon. With regards to China's manned program is now focused on the development and output of new near-Earth orbital space station, the launching of which is planned for the beginning of the 2020s.

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