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Astrobiologists --"Oxygen Is Not a Definitive Sign of Exo-Planet Life"

China to Explore Far Side of the Moon --"Could Lead to a Radio-Telescope Base"

 

 

Nasa-lro-moon-map

 


China's increasingly ambitious space program plans to attempt the first-ever landing of a lunar probe on the moon's far side, a leading engineer said. The Chang'e 4 mission is planned for sometime before 2020, Zou Yongliao from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' moon exploration department told state broadcaster CCTV in an interview broadcast on Wednesday. Zou said the mission's objective would be to study geological conditions on the moon's far side, also known as the dark side.

That could eventually lead to the placement of a radio telescope for use by astronomers, something that would help "fill a void" in man's knowledge of the universe, Zou said. Radio transmissions from Earth are unable to reach the moon's far side, making it an excellent location for sensitive instruments.

It seems that the two sides of the moon have evolved differently since their formation, with the far side forming at cooler temperatures and remaining stiffer while the Earth side has been modified at higher temperatures and for longer. This information is extremely important for theories on the formation of the moon, of which the current favorite is the "Giant Impact" hypothesis.

The Giant Impact idea is that four and a half billion years ago a planet the size of Mars rammed Earth, kicking enough debris into orbit to accrete into an entirely new body. 

The image at top of page shows the hidden face of the moon for the first time ever, as captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's instruments. The rainbow colors correspond to the elevation of the terrain, going from 20,000 feet (red) to -20,000 feet (blue), combined with the unique sharp view of the craters—the largest in the solar system.

China's next lunar mission is scheduled for 2017, when it will attempt to land an unmanned spaceship on the moon before returning to Earth with samples. If successful, that would make China only the third country after the United States and Russia to have carried out such a maneuver.

China's lunar exploration program, named Chang'e after a mythical goddess, has already launched a pair of orbiting lunar probes, and in 2013 landed a craft on the moon with a rover onboard.

China has also hinted at a possible crewed mission to the moon. China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003 and has powered ahead with a series of methodically timed steps, including the deploying of an experimental space station.

The Daily Galaxy via BEIJING (AP)

Comments

Its depressing that here we are 2015 and no moon base. Had we developed the moon since the landings in the 60s, we would probably be way more advanced re inter system space flight and exploration.

Moon has cave type features which could be carved out so to provide a reasonable shelter against radiation and other cosmic threats to humans. I´m not saying it would be easy but this close and from there we could launch space vehicles far cheaper than from Earth.

I hope the Chinese do this mission as it seems only inter human competition spurs the type of progress required for us to colonise our own solar system.

Yes, great someone other than NASA (holds many secrets from the public yet funded by the public) has joined the moon club. I was hoping the Japanese lunar project would photograph some anomolies up close and personal which NASA purposely avoids in their publicated photo array...but no. Possibly China will open the door but inherently they are more secretive by far than NASA.

A base on the far side..humm..it would take high resolution lunar orbiters to keep track of what they are up to..and most assuredly Chinese projects will be very closely monitored. Since the Chinese do have lasers proven on their old worn out satellites, monitoring may be risky business via lunar satellites...no?

So if/when China goes as far as establishing a lunar base, communication/data streams would have to be relayed by lunar satellite systems to China's Earth base receiver(s)...meaning it's more than just plopping down a space craft.

Hey Charley

Yes monitoring would be a waste of time since i don't see what harm really the Chinese can get up to. I don't think they would weaponize space or the moon.

I would hope any real Chinese moon projects would spur on US, India or Europe.

We need to get on the moon and crate humanity´s first base. We have a massive solar system with hundreds of planets and moons just waiting to be colonised and exploited for resources. Moon would be the beginning.

NASA has "kicked that can down the road for a long time". Now it seems China has picked it up and is running for the touch-down.

@Charley.
"publicated photo array? " Maybe they published it instead.

Until we solve the harmful effects of radiation, figure out gravity (to the point where it doesn't cause atrophy) and create a monumental propulsion system and advanced space craft there is ZERO purpose for a moon base, let the Chinese go for it, with all the cheap crap they send to the US and other places in this world, they don't stand a chance at success!

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