China has snatched the imitative from the United States as far as the Moon mission is concerned. The first man on the moon was an American but subsequently, the American space agency diverted its attention to other aspects of space research and China has emerged to fill the void. It can take credit for being the first country to land a mission on the far side of the Moon. Its Chang'e-4 mission has been there for more than a year and it is gathering a wide range of data from the unseen side. Chang'e-4 has an onboard lunar rover Yutu-2.

Its program is to explore the region and the exploration could open up a Pandora’s Box of resources.

The CNN says rover Yutu-2 has already discovered some interesting items, which is in keeping with the discoveries made by the Apollo astronauts on the other side of the moon. The equipment installed in the Chinese rover has capabilities of using radio signals to penetrate to great depths.

This was a major improvement over the earlier exercise involving Chang'E-3 in 2013 on the near side of the moon. An official explains - "The subsurface at the CE-4 landing site is much more transparent to radio waves, and this qualitative observation suggests a totally different geological context for the two landing sites."

Chang'e-4 to return samples to China

The research activities are progressing and the combination of robotics, artificial intelligence, and Renewable Energy is opening up new avenues of gathering data.

Such data could translate into profitable ventures on Earth. The radar has confirmed presence of embedded boulders. These are of different sizes and are porous, and granular and could be attributed to the collision of the Moon with meteors and other space debris. There are craters on the Moon with layers of boulders on top and loose, fine grain material beneath. This was one of the first set of data sent back by Chang'e-4.

CNN describes the usefulness of the work being done by China on the moon. A study of impact craters can reveal a lot about their evolution. Researchers want to understand the composition of the lunar mantle which is sandwiched between the crust and the core. The crust breaks up during collision with asteroids and the broken pieces remain on the surface.

Rover Yutu-2 continues to collect more information while the mission team on groundworks on getting lunar samples of rock, dust etcetera back to Earth.

China did something new with the Moon

According to the New York Times, last year China sent a lunar probe to the far side of the Moon. It was something no other country had done before. China wanted to understand what lies on the unseen side and it came up with the answer in the form of a robotic spacecraft named Chang-e’4. It housed Yutu-2, a small rover. Ground-Penetrating radar in the rover is now revealing the secrets of what lies beneath. Chang’e-4 has been there for just over a year and is exploring that portion of the Moon better known as the far side.

It is using radar technology normally used on Earth to reveal buried structures. The same technology is there on spacecraft that orbit Mars. However, using it to study another world is new and China has done just that.

Fight for honors between China and America

In 1969, NASA had sent the first man to the Moon. Subsequently, it shifted focus to other space-related activities. One of these was the setting up of the International Space Station, a skylab where scientists from other countries work together on space-related projects. Their aim is to gain and share knowledge. In the process, NASA had lost track of the Moon until Donald Trump said – go back to the Moon.

He wants the first woman there to be an American and the deadline for NASA is 2024. However, from all appearances, China could occupy space on the Moon before America. The United States will have to modify its strategies if it wants to retain its supremacy.

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