Mankind will soon be able to discover the far side of the moon as a Chinese lunar embarks on its journey toward the silver sphere early Saturday.
The scientific tasks of the Chang'e-4 mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon.
During its multi-week flight toward the moon, the probe will enter a lunar transfer trajectory and then orbit the moon before making an autonomous soft-landing on the Aitken Basin of the south lunar pole, the statement said.
Since the Moon spins around the same center of rotation as Earth, it's always facing away from us.
It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the heavily cratered surface, uncloaking some of the mystery of the moon's "dark side".
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With its Chang'e 4 mission, China hopes to be the first country to ever successfully undertake such a landing. Lagrange points are positions in space where a small object (the satellite, in this case) is gravitationally balanced between two large objects (the moon and the Earth, in this case) and will remain in place relative to them.
China launched an experimental spacecraft in 2014 to test technologies to be used on Chang'e-5, which is expected to bring moon samples back to earth.
The launch was made possible due to state moon research funding provided by the China National Space Administration, which will enable the Asian state to rapidly expand its space capacities. It also carries seeds as part of a "miniature biosphere" experiment to grow vegetables in the lunar soil.
It landed the Chang'e 3 probe, which carried the first Chinese lunar rover, on the moon in December 2013.
The biggest challenge will be establishing communication with the far side of the moon, which is unreachable by direct signal and invisible from Earth, said professor Ouyang Ziyuan of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the chief scientist of the China Lunar Exploration Plan.