YP Letters: China’s Moon landing is great step for science

Relay satellite Queqiao key role in moon's far side

Relay satellite Queqiao key role in moon's far side

Landing away from the equator is much more hard as is landing away from the gaze of the Earth on the far side of the Moon - congratulations China.

While in orbit, it can "see" both the earth and the far side of the moon. And on Friday, Jan. 4th (Beijing time), the CNSA announced that the mission's scientific and technical personnel had carried out last minute-checks before the Yutu-2 ("Jade Rabbit-2") rover disembarked from the lander to begin exploring the lunar surface. The lander then took a series of images that showed the rover rolling onto the lunar surface and then stopping at a point not far from the landing spot. It's a self-contained ecosystem, and scientists want to see what might happen to it over time.

Having barely landed on the lunar surface, Chang'e-4 transmitted its first images.

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe itself is a good example of worldwide cooperation: It is equipped with instruments developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and China to study the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and the interaction between solar wind and the moon surface. The Aitken basin is regarded to have formed during a massive collision in the earliest history of the moon.

Researchers also hope to conduct low-frequency radio observations of the cosmos from the far side of the Moon, where atmospheric interference and radio signals from Earth will not be an issue.

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. The moon's dark side remains largely unexplored because its position shields it from radio frequencies, preventing direct with the Earth.

The successful landing of China's Chang'e-4 probe on the far side of the moon on January 3 marked a significant step forward in the exploration of outer space and paves the way for future space missions. Besides, radio signals also can not get to the spacecraft on the far side. Though there have been several missions to the Moon in past decades after the landing by Neil Armstrong, majority have by fly past and just touch and go flights.