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Chinese Probes Successfully Land on the Darkest Side of the Moon

The space probe owned by the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA), Chang’e-4, finally managed to land on the Moon on Thursday morning (1/3/2019).

Reported by Business Insider, Saturday (01/05/2019), CNSA revealed that Chang’e-4 landed on the crater of Von Karman.

The rover of the probe will move to the moon’s south pole region, Aitken Basin, which is the darkest area there.

Aitken Basin itself has a range of 1,550 miles. This region was formed due to the impact that lasted 3.9 billion years ago.

Therefore, the Aitken Basin is deep enough to require the help of experts, in which case CNSA plays a big role.

“Aitken Basin is certainly very deep and contains Moon coating material that we have never learned,” said National Space Center astrophysicist Tamela Maciel.

“By landing in the region, Chang’e-4 and its rover will help researchers understand more about the history of Moon rock formations,” he added.

Chang’e-4’s task

Chang’e-4 is in charge of measuring radiation and satellite water levels, mineral testing, radio wave research to build a long-distance communication system, until experiments on planting vegetables on the Moon’s surface will be carried out with monitoring of panoramic cameras and measuring instruments. This will greatly support Astronomy studies.

Before the launch of Chang’e-4, a big problem was found when communicating with expedition robots, because there was no direct signal that could be connected to the other side of the Moon.

As a solution, in May 2018, China launched the Queqiau Satellite into the Moon orbit for remote data collection and command.

Oueqiau or the Magpie bird bridge, is a name adapted from the traditional story of the Chinese population.

Chang’e-4 Challenge

Another extreme challenge of this expedition is the time of darkness and light on the Moon.

At night the moon can reach 14 days, as well as the light time. This is very influential in air temperature.

Temperatures can drop dramatically to minus 173 degrees Celsius, and during the day the temperature can reach 127 degrees Celsius.

Expedition aircraft have to face temperature fluctuations with commensurate energy. The steep and intricate structure of the craters and valleys south of the Moon increasingly adds to the challenges of Chang’e-4 landing.

In 1959, the Soviet Union succeeded in photographing the mysterious dark side of the Moon filled with craters.

However, no one has managed to land there. This is the second trial China has landed on the Moon, after the first moon landing mission was carried out by Yutu or “Jade Rabbit” in 2013.

Yutu has successfully faced the challenges of temperatures up to the Geographic Moon and survived for 31 months.

This Yutu study strongly supports the preparation for the launch of Chang’e-4. End of this year Chang’e-5 will be sent to collect research samples and return to Earth.

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