The Chinese Chang’e 4-space probe has successfully landed on the back of the moon. This is what the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN reports via Twitter. China is thus the first country that succeeds in making a landing on the back of the moon.
The probe landed at 10:26 a.m. Thursday, Beijing Time (BJT). The probe, in which a robot vehicle sits to explore the lunar surface and perform experiments, was launched on 8 December. The Long Mars 3b missile with the Chang’e 4 probe departed from a start platform in South China Xichang.
The unmanned mission is named after the Chinese goddess of the moon. China is now the first country that has managed to make a (soft) landing on the back of the moon. In other words, it is a groundbreaking space mission.
“This is a first for humanity and an impressive achievement”, according to NASA CEO Jim Bridenstine, who congratulates the Chinese team via Twitter.
“That the Chinese will land in a place where the earth can never be seen is an absolute first”, says Koen Geukens of Urania. “The moon always stays with us on the same side. That alone makes Chang’e-4 a very special project.”
But in addition to prestige there is also a scientific interest. “The back of the Moon is considered the ideal location to study the universe without disturbing influences such as radio signals coming from the earth”, explains the astronomer. “The Chinese hope, among other things, to capture radiation from hydrogen gas from the early days of the universe. Analysis of soil and rock must further determine whether the rear is different from the front. Probably both have a different history. We already know that there are hardly any dark seas on the other side. Any additional information will undoubtedly teach us more about the previous history, and possibly the origin of the only natural satellite of our planet.”
China has been developing an ambitious space program for years.
Over the course of the night, messages from a successful landing appeared on Twitter that were subsequently erased. Among other things, the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN confirmed a successful landing to remove the news immediately thereafter. The Chinese newspaper China Daily also wrote that in a tweet that was subsequently erased.