China Becomes First Nation to Land on the Dark Side of the Moon

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China Becomes First Nation to Land on the Dark Side of the Moon
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China Becomes First Nation to Land on the Dark Side of the Moon
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China has become the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon. The far side of the Moon is often referred to as the dark side of the Moon, like the legendary Pink Floyd album, even though the far side of the Moon receives the same amount of sunlight as the Earth-facing side. The Chinese spacecraft also contains a rover to explore the surface of the Moon.

Landing on the far side of the Moon is a bit more complex than landing on its Earth-facing side, as its environment causes added interference to electronic communications. To respond to these unique challenges, China launched a communications satellite to orbit the Moon. Considering the far side of the Moon is shielded from electromagnetic interference, it is said to be an ideal location for researching outer space.

The rover, named Jade Rabbit-2, is set to perform several tasks and experiments on the Moon’s surface. The mission will conduct an experiment to determine if plants can grow in the low-gravity environment of the Moon. The rover will also explore the Moon’s poles for water and other resources. The deputy director of the program said the environment of the far side of the Moon would allow the probe to “listen” more deeply into the cosmos.

The rover is about 5 feet long and 3 feet wide and tall. It features six wheels, along with two folding solar panels, and weighs about 300 pounds. China’s last lunar rover, the original Jade Rabbit, ceased operations after 972 days of service. China hopes to have a fully operational space station by 2022.

China is one of only three countries to conduct a successful lunar landing. The United States and the Soviet Union were the first nations to successfully land on the Moon. However, the United States is the only country to ever conduct manned lunar landings. In total, 24 US astronauts have traveled to the Moon, and 12 American men have walked on the Moon’s surface.

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