Chinese automatic interplanetary stationChang'e-4 carried out a soft landing on the surface of the far side of the moon in the region of the South Pole of the satellite, becoming the first man-made spacecraft to do this. On board the station is a lunar rover, which surveys the landing site, conducts geological and astrophysical experiments, experiments on the cultivation of living organisms in conditions of low gravity.
The probe was launched to the satellite on December 7, 2018. After 112 hours, the device reached the orbit of the Moon and the Chinese Center for Space Flight began preparations for landing on the moon. Landing timed to the beginning of the lunar day. About ten days of the earth, the landing module and the lunar rover will be able to operate on solar panels.
Communication with devices is maintained usingthe Quetqiao orbital satellite repeater, which is located behind the Moon at the L2 point of Lagrange. The landing gears were sunk in the crater Karman, in the South Pole basin - Aitken. This is the largest and one of the oldest shock structures on the moon. According to the latest available data, the substance of the upper mantle comes to the surface: gabbro, norites, calcium-poor pyroxenes. They will help scientists shed light on the origin of the Earth satellite.
The Chinese news channel CGTN, with reference to the Chinese Space Agency, published on its Twitter page the first photographs obtained by Chang'e-4 from the surface of the lunar side.
In the field of space research new yearstarted very active. On December 31, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was placed at the orbit of the asteroid Bennu, located at an altitude of only 1.6 kilometers above the surface of the object; On January 1, it was reported that the New Horizons interplanetary station successfully flew past the asteroid Ultima Thule on the outskirts of the Solar System, moving closer to the object at a distance of 3,500 kilometers, photographing it and collecting new scientific data.
You can discuss the success of the Chinese lunar program in our Telegram-chat.