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For the first time, China put spacecraft on the dark side of the moon

Ken Moritsugu, Associated Press

Posted Thursday, January 3, 2019 5:57 AM EST

The Chinese Space Program on Thursday achieved the first: landing on the so-called dark side of the moon.

Three peoples – the United States, the former Soviet Union and, recently, China – have sent a spacecraft to the nearby moon, which is facing the Earth, but this is landing in the far side.

The Chinese National Space Administration said that touchdown Chang 4: 10.26 "opened a new chapter in human exploration on the moon."

The photo taken at 11:40 am and sent by Chang 4 shows a small crater and a reed surface that looks like it is illuminated by the light of the lunar explorer. His name comes from a Chinese goddess who, according to legend, lives on the moon for millennia.

The landing emphasizes the growing ambition of China to oppose the US, Russia and Europe in the universe, and wider, to strengthen the country's position as a regional and global force.

"The dream of the universe is part of the dream to make China stronger," President Xi Jinping said in 2013, shortly after becoming a leader in China.

At the end of the year, the Chinese media and officials welcomed Chang Chang on 4 December as one of the nation's biggest achievements in 2018. floor news.

"In general, Chinese space technology is still lagging behind the West, but landing on the opposite side of the Moon, we ran ahead," said Hou Xiyun, professor of astronomy and space science at the University of Nanjing.

He added that China has Mars, Jupiter and asteroids in their sights: "There is no doubt that our people will go on and on."

In 2013, Chang 3, the predecessor of the current mission, made the first landing on the Luna Moon 24 of the former Soviet Union in 1976. The United States is the only country that successfully sent a person to the moon, even though China is considering a mission to the crew.

For the time being, he plans to send Jack Chang 5 # to the Moon next year and return to the Earth with the samples – was also not done by the Soviet mission in 1976.

The relatively unexplored distant side of the moon has a different composition from the immediate side, where previous missions have fallen.

Chang # 4, a combined lander and rover, will make astronomical observations and examine the structure and mineral composition of the terrain above and below the surface.

"The far side of the moon is a rare peaceful place that is free from interference from radio signals from the Earth," said Yu Guobin's spokeswoman, according to Xinhua's official news agency. "This probe can fill the low frequency gap in radio astronomy and provide important information for studying star origin and evolution of nebula."

One challenge of acting on the other side of the moon is communication with the Earth. China has launched a relay satellite in May so that Chang # 4 can send back the information.

China carried out its first space mission with the crew in 2003 and became the only third country to do so after Russia and the United States. It has set up a couple of space stations in the orbit and plans to launch the Mars rover in the mid-2020s. Her space program last year had a rare halt due to the failed launch of its Long March 5 missile.

Wu Weiren, lead designer of China Lunar Exploration, called a landing point break.

"Building a space force is a dream that we pursue," he said in an interview for CCTV at the Beijing Airborne Airborne and Control Center. "And gradually we get it."

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