Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Science | By

Chinese rover powers up on moon mission

Chinese rover powers up on moon mission

China has released photos of its lunar rover leaving track marks on the far side of the moon after the country's historic landing.

"Although this was one small step for the rover, I think it is one big step for the Chinese people", he said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV, echoing the famous quote by USA astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the Moon in 1969. "This giant leap is a decisive move for our exploration of space and the conquering of the universe".

Launched on Dec 8, 2018, China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe, comprising a lander and a rover, landed on the far side of the moon Thursday morning.

"Congratulations to China's Chang'e-4 team for what appears to be a successful landing on the far side of the Moon", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter. China has been trying to catch up with the United States and other nations in space exploration.

The rover's designer, Shen Zhenrong of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, described the far side of the moon's surface to the state broadcaster CCTV as "soft" and "similar to that when you are walking on the snow", the AP reported.


"We are building China into a space giant", Dr. Wu said in his televised remarks.

"The Chang'e-4, carrying eight payloads, will conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, survey the terrain and landforms, detect the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure and measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the Moon". Chang'e 4 also has sent back images taken with a topographical camera.

The news inspired dreamier thoughts for advertising employee Shang Yuegang.

It is the second Chinese spacecraft to land on the only natural satellite of our planet, following the Yutu rover mission in 2013. It is popularly called the "dark side" because it can't be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.

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