Chang’e -5 probe
About Chang’e -5 probe
• The Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission - named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology is humanity's first probe to land on and explore the far side of the moon.
• No lander or rover has ever touched the surface there, positioning China as the first nation to explore the area.
• Unlike the near side of the moon that is "tidally locked" and always faces the earth, and offers many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is mountainous and rugged. It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the heavily cratered surface, uncloaking some of the mystery of the moon's "dark side".
• A major challenge for such a mission is communicating with the robotic lander: as the far side of the moon always points away from earth, there is no direct "line of sight" for signals. As a solution, China blasted the Queqiao ("Magpie Bridge") satellite into the moon's orbit, positioning it so that it can relay data and commands between the lander and earth.
So far, the probe has survived on the far side of the Moon for 630 Earth days, equivalent to 45 lunar days, and the rover has travelled 547.17 meters.
The rover also explored the impact crater about 1.3 kilometres northwest of the landing site and the areas with high reflectivity.
With the panoramic camera, infrared imaging spectrometer and lunar radar, the rover can peer beneath the surface of the mysterious far side of the Moon, based on which multiple achievements have been made and published recently in the journal Nature Astronomy.
The scientific team carried out in-depth study on the radar detection data and obtained important findings on the lunar soil and shallow structure of the landing area.
The latest discoveries are of great significance for understanding the evolution of the South Pole-Aitken basin of the Moon, as well as for the future exploration and study on the composition and structure of the lunar interior.