- China has launched a relay satellite named Queqiao or “Magpie Bridge” to explore the far side of the moon.
- The satellite will facilitate communication between controllers on earth and the Chang’e 4 mission.
- Far side or the dark side faces away from the earth and is comparatively unknown.
- Queqiao is expected to arrive shortly at the Earth-moon Lagrange point 2. It is a gravitationally stable spot located 64,000 km beyond the far side of the moon.
- Building multiple adjustments to its orbit will pose a challenges to China satellite program..
- China Achievements:
- China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003,the third country to do so after Russia and the U.S.
- Previously landed Jade Rabbit rover on the moon.
- Upcoming Missions:
- Land its Chang’e 5 probe on moon in 2019
- launch of the 20-ton core module in still orbiting Tiangong 2 station.
- Mars rover planned for mid 2020s.