China is getting ready to send a radical probe to the farthest side of the moon this year. The mission is a new breakthrough for China. The Chang’e 4 space mission will be launched in June and a Long March 4C rocket carrying a 425kg relay satellite will travel 60,000-km to the backside of the moon. Another launch will send a lander and rover to the far side of the moon and will be guided by a satellite for a safe landing.
This will be the first landing on the far side of the moon. It is an unexplored region of the moon and is called South Pole-Aitken Basin. The rover will also have a gardening kit and will be examining how plants grow on the lunar surface. Brian Harvey, a space analyst and author of China in Space: The Great Leap Forward says, “‘The Chinese are pushing back the frontier with such a technically challenging mission.”
China has also announced to launch a space probe that will bring back samples from the moon. The Chang’e 5 lunar probe is currently undergoing some final tests before its launch. It is expected to be ready for launch by August. This launch will be challenging for China in terms of sample collection, taking off from the moon and entering back into the Earth’s atmosphere. This will be the most complicated and difficult space mission ever undertaken by China.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has claimed that China will become a global power in space exploration. Trump Administration also declared plans to go back to moon some time ago. The official of Science and Technology daily said. “Our country also announced a series of deep space exploration plans.” Last year in February, Trump administration asked the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to find the possibility of launching another manned heavy-fit rocket to send a human to the moon once again. The plan was abandoned later on and the Orion mission will be unmanned on its first flight.
China’s new probe is its latest step in lunar exploration programme. In 2013, its first lunar soft landing was completed. China aims to send the probe in 2018 to the dark side of the moon. This will be the first trip of such sort by China. They are also hoping to send astronauts to the moon by 2036. China’s space agency also announced plans to launch two missions to Mars and a probe to Jupiter. The first probe will be sent to Mars by 2020 as told by Vice Director of China’s National Space Administration. Another probe will be launched to collect samples and conduct research on the Mar’s structure, composition, and environment. The agency also told about its plans to fly-by Jupiter and explore an asteroid.
China also conducted its first manned mission in 2003 and since then is steadily making progress in the field. They also staged a spacewalk and landed a rover on the moon in 2013. A fully functional, with permanent crew space station is also expected to begin operation in six years.