Animals and Plants are Now Living on the Moon - Thanks to China

Relay satellite Queqiao key role in moon's far side

Chang'e-4 can't communicate directly with mission scientists back on Earth. The Yutu-2 rover will also be the first mission to directly study the deposits of water ice that have been observed in the South Pole-Aitken Basin in recent years.

The relay satellite, named Queqiao, meaning Magpie Bridge, after a Chinese legend, was launched on May 21, 2018, and became the first communication satellite operating in the halo orbit around the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the earth-moon system, almost 500,000 km from the earth.

Having barely landed on the lunar surface, Chang'e-4 transmitted its first images. LFS aboard Chang'e-4 will astronomically observe low-frequency bands. The Aitken basin is regarded to have formed during a massive collision in the earliest history of the moon. This will be done through its special payload (the Lunar Micro Ecosystem), a heated and pressurized stainless steel container that contains seeds and insect eggs.

To promote public interest in space exploration, the China National Space Administration invited people to write down their wishes for lunar and space exploration, and the relay satellite carries the names of tens of thousands of participants and their messages.

However, as Harvard professor Abraham Loeb noted, the relay satellite itself could be a source of radio contaminate for the sky.

The satellite now acts as a communication medium to send across signals from Earth up to Chang'e 4 once it reaches the Moon's far side.

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"The relay satellite communicates with Earth using radio waves".

Even if the experiments with the satellite prove that we can not feasibly conduct radio astronomy on the far side of the Moon, the mission is certain to yield valuable scientific information.

"As long as we keep it clean of radio interference, the far side of the moon is very good for radio astronomy", he said. However, things have changed now as the Chinese spacecraft, named Chang'e 4, made a proper landing on Moon's far side after several months of hard work and preparations.

China is a relative newcomer to space travel compared to the United States and Russian Federation, but has been making up for lost time at a rapid rate.

China landed a probe on the far facet of the moon on Thursday with remarkably little fanfare, but the feat is one big leap for a nation that's always been considered an additionally-ran within the area race.

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