Tuesday 28 March 2017

China aims to be first to land probe on dark side of the moon

A full moon, known as the Blue Moon, rises behind a telecommunication tower over the Camlica Hill in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters/Murad Sezer
A full moon, known as the Blue Moon, rises behind a telecommunication tower over the Camlica Hill in Istanbul, Turkey. Reuters/Murad Sezer

China's space programme says it plans to attempt the first landing of a lunar probe on the far side of the moon.

Zou Yongliao, from the moon exploration department at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told state broadcaster CCTV that the Chang'e 4 mission is planned for some time before 2020.

Mr Zou said the objective of the mission would be to study geological conditions on the moon's far side, also known as the dark side. Radio transmissions from Earth are unable to reach the far side.

China's next lunar mission is scheduled for 2017, when it will attempt to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon before returning to Earth with samples.

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