China Begins First Surface Exploration of Moon’s Far Side

In this photo provided on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, leaves wheel marks after leaving the lander that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang'e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese space rover explored the lunar terrain on Friday in the world’s first mission on the surface of the far side of the moon.

Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp the previous night and onto the soft, snow-like surface after a Chinese spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the moon’s far side. A photo posted online by China’s space agency showed tracks left by the rover as it headed away from the spacecraft.

“It’s a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation,” Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, told state broadcaster CCTV, in a twist of U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous comment when he became the first human to walk on the moon in 1969. “This giant leap is a decisive move for our exploration of space and the conquering of the universe.”

Previous moon landings, including America’s six manned missions from 1969 to 1972, have been on the near side of the moon, which faces Earth. The far side has been observed many times from lunar orbits, but never explored on the surface.

China’s space community is taking pride in the successful landing, which posed technical challenges because the moon blocks direct communication between the spacecraft and its controllers on Earth. China has been trying to catch up with the United States and other nations in space exploration.

“The landing on the far side shows China’s technology is powerful,” said He Qisong, a space expert at the East China University of Science and Law in Shanghai.

While China’s space program still lags America’s, He said “China has already positioned itself at least as good as Russia and the European Union.”

The news cheered people on the streets of Beijing on Friday, many of whom said it showed that China can now achieve or even surpass what the United States has done.

“I think this is very good evidence that we are now able to compete with the Americans,” said energy company employee Yao Dajun. “You can get on the moon and so can we — I think this is very good. It means our science and technology ability is getting stronger and the country is becoming more powerful.”

The news inspired dreamier thoughts for advertising employee Shang Yuegang. “Probably after some years ordinary people like us can also travel up there to take a look,” he said.

This photo provided on Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency shows an image taken by China’s Chang’e-4 probe during its landing process. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

The Chinese rover has six powered wheels, allowing it to continue to operate even if one wheel fails. It has a maximum speed of 200 meters (220 yards) per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20 centimeters (8 inches) tall.

“The surface is soft and it is similar to that when you are walking on the snow,” rover designer Shen Zhenrong of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said on CCTV.

Exploring the cosmos from the far side of the moon could eventually help scientists learn more about the early days of the solar system and even the birth of the universe’s first stars. The far side is popularly called the “dark side” because it can’t be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.

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By KEN MORITSUGU , Associated Press

Associated Press researchers Yu Bing, Shanshan Wang and Fu Ting contributed to this story.

In this photo provided on Jan. 3, 2019, by the China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, an image taken by China’s Chang’e-4 probe after its landing. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang’e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
In this photo provided Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the first image of the moon’s far side taken by China’s Chang’e-4 probe. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang’e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.(China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)
In this image provided on Jan. 3, 2019, by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a simulated landing process of Chang’e-4 lunar probe is seen through the monitor at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. (Jin Liwang/Xinhua News via AP)
FILE – In this Dec. 8, 2018, file photo, and released by Xinhua News Agency, the Chang’e 4 lunar probe launches from the the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China’s Sichuan province. The official China Central Television says Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, the lunar explorer Chang’e 4 had touched down at 10:26 a.m to make first-ever landing on the far side of the moon. (Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua via AP, File)

1 Comment

  1. Clearly….another indictment of China by the white supremacist racist in our country and government!

    Media outlets in U.S. connect this with military technology …and now are beating the propaganda narrative ..that China …who wall street and corporate billionaires trade with ….are again Human Rights offenders!

    What they are …like Russia …are competitors to the Global economic and political domination of a bunch of Anglo white supremacist who own the media and our government to represent their global interests!

    They have raped our treasury ..to occupy foreign countries , supported tyrants and war criminals from Turkey , Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and their all time money maker Israel …to represent their interests.

    America ..is no longer important to their Global plans….to dominate the world…and we have been relegated to a cash cow .state to fund theri global development plans! We are just another state in the world …who they use to enforce their crimes…and in the event of war with Russia and China…. ..we are simply disposable assets in their Global rule!

    Until we in America …accept the reality …that we no longer in the hands fo rationale human beings…we will be subject to more extortion of our money …to feed a military that now consumes almost 50 percent of our revenue and growing! Our ecoonomy depends on a war budget …with humanity as the price!

    Yesterday,,, Mr. Arkwin…a 30 year veteran of the NBC and MNBC news and new correspondent ..has resigned ….from what he describes

    Long-time reporter @warkin leaves NBC & MSNBC, emails statement saying these outlets are captive to the national security state & devoted to Endless War: “defenders of the government against Trump, cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering”- reflexively pro-war

    1,754
    4:30 PM – Jan 2, 2019
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    Arkin expressed concern that NBC’s infatuation with the “Trump circus” has distracted journalists from pressing stories that need to be told.

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    “I’m more worried about how much we are missing. Hence my desire to take a step back and think why so little changes with regard to America’s wars,” he wrote.

    He continued by questioning the media’s fanatical opposition to Trump’s desire to improve relations with Russia, denuclearize North Korea, and withdraw from Syria.

    “I’m alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn’t get out Syria? We shouldn’t go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don’t even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?” he quipped.

    If anyone is qualified to critique NBC’s military and national security reporting, it would be Arkin. The veteran journalist has worked for the network intermittently for the last 30 years, and co-authored a seminal Washington Post investigation revealing the dangerous rise of America’s security state.

    William M. Arkin
    @warkin
    · Dec 21, 2018

    This is all you need to know …what we have been witnessing for the last 25 years …and should make TNH Editors and Mainstream Media outlets …traitors to the American people …and should be prosecuted with collaborating with the corrupt governments of not only …the U.S. but England and Israel to impose distortions whose intentions are to incite endless wars …and evoke war on America!

    China…is an independent country of the world . whose form of government is communist…which to capitalist in the upper 1% of America….is a nightmare …not because there ruling party controls the distribution of money to the people, and they violate human rights …but they represent a threat to the order ..of billionaires amassing more money for themselves …and they being the ruling party of America and the world!

    No more proof of this …is their love affair with Saudi Arabia …where freedom of religion doesn;t exist ….but is our best buddies ..in overthrowing the countries of the Middle East …like Syria ..where freedom of Religion does exist!

    China..is the perfect example …as to why these degenerates have restored the cold war with Russia…who is not a communist country …but a threat to the Tyrants that have hijacked the foreign affairs of the American people for their own personal empires!

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