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The launch of a rocket carrying a lunar probe that blasted off from a satellite launch site in Sichuan Province of China is significant. This is the Chang'e 4 mission and the country’s attempt to pioneer activities on the far side of the moon, which continues to remain an unexplored area. Selecting the far side will open up new windows of opportunities. Its success will provide a boost to the Chinese space program, and it can prove its ability to compete with established names in the field like Russia, the European Union and the US.

New Zealand Herald reports that the Chang'e 4 mission plans to “make a soft landing” on the moon. This is the terminology associated with the landing of a spacecraft when there is no serious damage.

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If China achieves that, it will surely be a plus point.

China’s space program

China landed its Yutu, or "Jade Rabbit" rover on the moon five years ago. Right now, its Chang'e 4 mission is heading to the moon. This is a lander-rover combination, and the journey will take 27 days. It will land inside a crater at the South Pole and explore both upper and lower surfaces of the moon. The landing site chosen is the oldest impact crater in the entire Solar System, and it is possible that it could reveal traces of useful material.

China plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe next year, and this will bring back rock samples to the Earth. There is also a manned lunar mission on the anvil. Obviously, the country is serious about these missions. It already has a pair of space stations in orbit and has conducted its first manned space mission.

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Thus, it became the third country to achieve the distinction after Russia and the US. Incidentally, NASA wants to go to Mars via the moon.

Robots in Chang'e-4 mission will be busy

According to BBC, China’s Chang'e-4 mission will land a robotic craft on the far side of the moon. The landing site will be the Von Kármán crater. The formation of this crater could be the result of an asteroid impact and analysis of rocks from this region could help to know more about the moon.

During its stay on the moon, Chang'e-4 mission will be busy carrying out preprogrammed tasks. One of these relates to "radio environment" on the far side. This is a preliminary step to install radio astronomy telescopes later. Another of its activities is on potatoes and some plant seeds to study the extent of photosynthesis on the moon. China is proceeding on a specific plan. The first and second Chang'e missions were meant to collect data from orbit, the next two are for surface operations while the last two will be to bring back samples to the Earth for analysis.