China start planning the first mission to the far side of the Moon

The Chang’e-4 mission is set to be the first mission to visit the mysterious far side of the Moon. The team at Chinese National Space Administration have started to get all the pieces ready for the task by launching the device, named Quequiao, on the 21st May from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center as part of the two launch mission to explore the area for the first time.

Quequiao carries a radio telescope and is expected to join orbit beyond the Moon to allow it to communicate between the equipment on the Moon and the station on Earth. Unlike other techniques, the relay satellites can provide data and monitoring services for spacecraft that is communicated back to our planet in real-time to improve efficiency and emergency capability of the equipment.

The Chang’e-4 rover will join later this year after communication systems have been set up, and the telescope is due to be switched on sometime in 2019 to look for signals from the universes very first stars.

Image: Chang’e-5t1, China’s previous satellite, captured a photograph of the far side of the m=Moon in 2014.
Credit: Chinese National Space Administration

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