China to land on the dark side of the moon: Report

By Vignesh Giridharan | Published on Dec 31 2018
China to land on the dark side of the moon: Report

China's Chang'e 4 spacecraft will land on the dark side of the moon, where direct communication with Earth is not possible.

Make your home smarter than the average home

Make your life smarter, simpler, and more convenient with IoT enabled TVs, speakers, fans, bulbs, locks and more.

Click here to know more

Key Highlights:

  • China's Chang'e 4 spacecraft will land on the far side of the moon
  • It will use relay satellites already put in place by China National Space Administration to communicate with Earth


In what will soon become another first for all of humanity, China is planning to land its lunar probe Chang'e 4 on the dark side of the moon. According to a recent report by the state-owned Xinhua News Agecny, the unmanned spacecraft was launched on a Long March-3B rocket on December 7. Chang'e 4 reached lunar orbit five days later and deployed its landing craft and surface rover in preparation for descent. The planned landing site is Von Kármán, a 180-kilometre crater in the South Pole–Aitken basin.

The spacecraft reportedly entered an elliptical orbit around the moon on December 12 at 6:25 AM IST (12:55 AM GMT). From the pericenter, the point of closest approach for any celestial body in an elliptical orbit, the spacecraft is only 14.4 kilometres from the moon's rocky surface. The China National Space Administration reportedly announced that it would soon "prepare for the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon". 

From the dark side of the moon direct communication with Earth is not possible as the moon itself blocks all transmissions. For this reason, the Chinese National Space Administration set up a communications relay satellite called Queqiao (meaning Magpie Bridge) back in May this year in a halo orbit around the moon. Two other microsatellites, Longjiang-1 and Longjiang-2 (meaning Dragon River), were launched along with Queqiao for additional relay support.

Chang'e 4's payload includes a landing camera (LCAM), a terrain camera (TCAM), and a low-frequency spectrometer (LFS) to study solar bursts, among other equipment. Chang'e 4's mission on the dark side of the moon is to measure the surface temperature, chemical compositions of lunar rocks and soils, study cosmic rays, observe the solar corona, and carry out low-frequency radio astronomical research.


Related Read: China to create an artificial moon by 2020 to replace street lamps


Indias very own space shuttle will launch in the next 2 3 months
Vignesh Giridharan

Progressively identifies more with the term ‘legacy device’ as time marches on.

Digit caters to the largest community of tech buyers, users and enthusiasts in India. The all new Digit in continues the legacy of as one of the largest portals in India committed to technology users and buyers. Digit is also one of the most trusted names when it comes to technology reviews and buying advice and is home to the Digit Test Lab, India's most proficient center for testing and reviewing technology products.

We are about leadership-the 9.9 kind! Building a leading media company out of India.And,grooming new leaders for this promising industry.