Chinese rover first to the dark side of the moon
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/03/19, 10:35 am
A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday morning became the first to land on the far side of the moon, Chinese state media reported. The China National Space Administration said the successful landing of the robotic lunar explorer Chang’e 4 “opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration.”
The Long March 3B rocket carrying the Chang’e 4 probe departed the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern China on Dec. 8. The probe is expected to carry out astronomical observation and explore the structure and mineral composition of the terrain. The far side of the moon, also called its dark side, faces away from the Earth and has remained unexplored by any lander. The United States, the former Soviet Union, and China have all sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon. China’s pioneering move highlights its ambition to become a leading space power. “The space dream is a part of the dream to make China strong,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in 2013, shortly after taking office.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine welcomed the landing as an “impressive accomplishment.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.