China probe readies to land on dark side of the Moon

A Long March-3B rocket carrying Chang'e 4 lunar probe takes off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province China

A Long March-3B rocket carrying Chang'e 4 lunar probe takes off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province China

Because a soft landing on the far side can be extremely challenging, mission control will rely on Queqiao or Magpie Bridge, to relay signals to the lunar lander and rover of Chang'e 4.

China's space program has benefited from cooperation with Russian Federation and European nations, although it was excluded from the 420-ton International Space Station, mainly due to United States legislation barring such cooperation amid concerns over its strong military connections.

The Chang'e-4 lunar probe will land on the Aitken Basin of the lunar south pole region on the far side of the moon, which is a hot spot for scientific and space exploration. The other side, dubbed the far side or the dark side of the moon, is not actually in darkness. They have tested the communication link between the spacecraft and satellite.

As the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN reported, has been brought after the Chinese moon goddess named space ship on Sunday in a corresponding Orbit around the moon. The lander portion of the mission is targeting a touchdown in Von Karman crater.

The Blood Moon eclipse will pass over the night side of America this time around, with some visibility from the western fringes of Europe, including the UK.

An image of the rover for China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe.

When the Moon enters the Earth's darkest shadow it nearly disappears in the sky - but a trick of the light paints it a deep red hue. They cover about 16 percent of the lunar surface and majority are on the side facing Earth.

On July 2, there will be a total solar eclipse (when the moon passes directly in front of the sun), but it won't be visible in North America, only in parts of the southern Pacific Ocean and some parts of South America. The Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to see it with the naked eye.

Because the moon will be at its closest point to Earth, the moon will look even bigger and much brighter, causing it to be also known as a supermoon. The mare basalt represents scientist's best look at the moon's overall composition and its mantle, the layer between the core and crust. The Chang'e-4 first entered a lunar orbit on December 12.

Chang'e 4 has been tasked with making astronomical observations including assessing the terrain and landforms, detecting mineral composition and analysing the shallow lunar surface structure, in a bid to further mankind's understanding of the mysterious dark side. "We should be able to identify the lander and rover tracks if not the rover itself", Robinson said.

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