Thursday, 24 January, 2019

'Total success': China broadcasts images from far side of moon

State broadcaster CCTV reported that the image was created by stitching together 80 State broadcaster CCTV reported that the image was created by stitching together 80
Elijah Vega | 11 January, 2019, 21:54

With the assistance of the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2), the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe took photos, China National Space Administration (CNSA) said. The photos reveal a seemingly endless horizon of grey, rocky terrain.

The probe, comprised of a lander and a rover, touched down at the preselected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude in the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the far side of the moon on January 3.

Equipped with instruments developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and, of course, China, the Chang'e-4 probe is set to study the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and interaction between solar wind and the moon's surface, Xinhua reported.

China's lunar probe has sent the first panoramic image of its landing site since its historic arrival on the far side of the moon, showing the cratered landscape it is exploring.

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The first panorama from the dark side of the moon.

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle.

US, China leave next steps for trade talks unclear
From January 7 to 9, a USA delegation was in Beijing for talks about trade issues amid an ongoing 90-day truce in the trade war. The talks were the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since their leaders met on December 1.

The pictures were transmitted by a relay satellite to a control centre in Beijing, although it wasn't immediately clear when they were taken.

The deepest region on the moon, with a depth of 9,100 meters (5.7 miles), is about 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the south of the probe, Li said.

The rover, which had been put in "standby" mode to protect it from the Sun's heat, was then switched on and, along with the Chang'e-4 probe, took pictures of the landing site and its surroundings.

"The information from the depths of the Moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", Li said. The Chang'e 4 is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid craters and uneven surfaces before it lands.

Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the flawless place from where to study the universe. Its first unprocessed images made the moon look quite reddish, but the familiar gray of the moon is clearly seen in the exciting panorama shot.

"We hope Chang'e-4 could carry out unprecedented and more challenging tasks", said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar exploration program. And the SPA Basin might be an impact from that period.

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