China's ambitious space program to go to the dark side of the moon



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The lunar probe Chang & # 39; e-4 was launched on Friday. If everything goes according to plan, the spacecraft, named after the mythical goddess of the moon, will land in a few weeks in the Aitken basin, where she will take pictures of surface and soil samples.

The moon landing in this unexplored region will allow the Chang & e; 4 exploration vehicle to better study the Moon and space thanks to the Earth's lack of electromagnetic interference.

The explorer, or lunar lunar, is equipped with a low frequency radio spectrometer help scientists understand "how the first stars were litand how our cosmos emerged from the darkness after the Big Bang, "according to the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.

The probe will also carry a can full of potato seeds and arabidopsis, a small floral plant related to cabbage and mustard. Scientists will test whether plants can grow on the moon.

Silkworm

Chang-e-4 can also carry silkworm eggs to perform the first biological experiment. None of the government agencies involved in the space program – including the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, China's National Space Administration and the Office of Moon Exploration and Deep Space – have published details of the launch of Chang & # 39; -4.

In May, China has launched a retransmission satellite called Queqiao, which orbits 28,000 miles from Earth, where it can maintain a gravitational balance to continue transmitting messages from the exploration vehicle to Earth.

Chang & e; is the name of a series of probes that China has launched into orbit and landed. The Chang-e-3 was launched in 2013 and its explorer Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, examined the geology and natural resources of the Moon after landing gently on the satellite.

The country also plans to launch its first probe Mars at the end of this decade, according to a technical paper on China's space activities published in 2016. He also plans to build his own space station in 2022, Xinhua reported.

China wants to be one of the top three aerospace powers in the world by 2030, said last year Wu Yanhua, deputy director of China's National Space Administration.

Its space budget is approximately $ 8 billion a year, surpassed only by the United States, according to the Space Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

O NASA has adopted a dual path consisting of building a lunar orbital platform and sending astronauts back to the Moon in the mid-2020s with the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars.

The Mars InSight spacecraft landed on the Red Planet last month to study its interior and help answer questions about the early days of the Solar System.

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