China has launched a rover destined to land on the far side of the moon
About Dark side of the moon:
- Because of a phenomenon called “tidal locking”, only one “face” of the Moon can be seen from Earth. This is because the Moon takes just as long to rotate on its own axis as it takes to complete one orbit of Earth. The other side is known as the ‘dark side’ or ‘far side’
- The topography of the far side is far more rugged and variable than the near side, which is marked with vast, smooth basaltic seas
About Chang’e 4 mission:
- In Chinese mythology, Chang’e is the goddess of the moon. Chang’e 4 is a part of China’s Lunar Exploration programme
- Chang’e-4 includes two main parts: the main lander weighing about 2,400 pounds and a 300-pound rover.
- The rover will land in the 110-mile-wide Von Kármán crater.
- To facilitate communication between controllers on Earth and the Chang’e-4 mission, China launched a relay satellite named Queqiao
- Chang’e-4 will be the second Chinese probe to land on the moon following the Yutu (“Jade Rabbit”) rover mission in 2013.
What will Chang’e 4 study?
- It will study the rocks in the area and the effects of the solar wind striking the lunar surface.
- Chang’e-4 will also test the ability of making radio astronomy observations from the far side of the moon, without the effects of noise and interference from Earth.