China launches pioneering mission to far side of moon

Chang’e-4 Launch

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe was launched on a Long March 3B rocket from the southwestern Xichang launch centre, and is expected to reach its destination sometime around the turn of the year.

China has launched a lunar rover on a historic mission to explore the dark side of the moon, with the potential to make revolutionary discoveries about the possibility of extraplanetary life.

It also presents communication difficulties because the far side of the moon always points away from Earth, meaning signals could be blocked.

China has promoted worldwide cooperation in its lunar exploration program, with four scientific payloads in the Chang'e-4 mission developed by scientists from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

Futurism has previously reported on the Chang'e 4 lunar lander, which is scheduled to land near the Moon's southern pole in a giant plain called the Von Kármán crater.

If successful, the Chang-e 4 will unlock valuable clues to the mysteries about the moon and the universe. It's mission will be to explore the composition of the lunar surface.

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The U.S.is the only country to place astronauts on the Moon, having done so most recently in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission. A crewed lunar mission is also under consideration.

The experiments also involve planting potato and other seeds, according to Chinese media reports.

Chang'e is the goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology. Its success provided a major boost to China's space programme. It has put a pair of space stations into orbit, one of which is still operating as a precursor to a more than 60-ton station that is due to come online in 2022.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Chang'e 4 lunar probe launches from the the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

China's space program has benefited from cooperation with Russian Federation and European nations, although it was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station, mainly due to USA legislation barring such cooperation amid concerns over its strong military connections.

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