The Chinese probe Chang'e 4 landed on Thursday successfully on the dark side of the Moon, the first time in history that this is achieved, reported the National Space Administration of China (ANEC). The ANEC, quoted by the official news agency Xinhua, detailed that the moon landing occurred at 10.26 am China (02.26 GMT) in the planned area: the Aitken basin, at the south pole of the Earth satellite. For its part, the state newspaper Global Times called the successful arrival of Chang'e 4 on the dark side of the Moon "great milestone of human exploration of the universe."
The Moon is in synchronized rotation around the Earth, so it uses the same time to make a translation around our planet that rotates on its own axis, so we can not see its hidden side or "dark side". Previously, other spacecraft could observe this hidden face, but none landed on it.
Raising a mysterious veil
The landing "lifted the mysterious veil" from the hidden face of the Moon and "opened a new chapter in the lunar exploration of humanity," the space agency CNSA said in a statement on its website, which included a color image of the crater of the lunar surface taken with a wide-angle lens.
The probe, which has a lander and cameras to record it, landed in an area located near the Moon's south pole in the Von Karman crater after entering lunar orbit in mid-December.
The mission will perform low frequency radio astronomical observation, terrain and relief analysis, detection of mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure and measurement of neutron and neutral atom radiation to study the environment on the hidden side of the moon.
The probe, which includes a module and an explorer vehicle, was launched on December 8 by a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province, in the southwest of the Asian country. Four days later, the Chang'e 4 entered the lunar orbit, after which the ANEC cut the orbit of the probe twice, the last one on December 30.
The communications between the probe and the Earth are possible thanks to a satellite, Queqiao, placed in orbit last May and that operates as a "mirror" transmitter of information between the control centers on Earth and the Chang'e 4.
Pioneering space programs such as the Soviet or the US have already achieved more than half a century ago photographing the hidden side of the Moon but never landed there, although in 1962 a US unmanned mission tried unsuccessfully.
The Chang'e program (named after a goddess who, according to Chinese legends, lives on the Moon) began with the launch of a first orbital probe in 2007, and since then four devices have been brought to Earth's satellite plus.
El goal: manned mission
The final objective of the program is a manned mission to the Moon in the long term, although the date has not been set for it and some experts place it around the year 2036.
Digital Newspaper La Vanguardia