Chang’e-4 is set to be a new venture by the Chinese to prove their mirth in space missions and compete with the United States. This is the first time a mission has been planned to explore the dark side of the moon. Scheduled at 6.30 GMT, Chang’E would start its “soft land” mission from China’s Sichuan. The Spacecraft would do a soft landing in the Von Karman Crater near the South Pole’s Aitken Basin.
The mission is named after The Goddess of the Moon in Chinese Mythology, Chang’e. This spacecraft is capable enough to observe the top and bottom of the moon’s surface.
The Propeller used for the launch is a Long March 3B for targetting the massive crater in the Solar System, as the operation lasts up to 28 days. The spacecraft is scheduled to spend around three weeks in orbit for observations.
The prelude to this mission was undertaken by China in last May when it launched the Queqiao Relay Satellite. It is now marked at an L2 Lagrange point between the earth and moon. The relay satellite is estimated to soar 60,000 miles in orbit, away from the moon’s surface.
Researchers are hoping for the success of this mission as breakthroughs can be made in Geological researchers by collecting unseen rocks. China, however, has a poor record in space missions. In 2011, Tiangong 1 space station crashed back to the earth after falling out of orbit during observation. It was however replaced by Tiangong 2, launched in 2016. China’s schedule is coincidentally close to the American Space Robot “Curiosity” which is scheduled for a touchdown as well.
China’s future plans in space exploration include the completion of Project 921, Tiangong 3 and a Mars Exploration programme. The Mars exploration Crewed Phase can be estimated to be in 2040-60.