News World China probe readies to land on dark side of the moon -...

China probe readies to land on dark side of the moon – Xinhua

A Chinese space probe is moving into position to land on the dark side of the moon for the first time, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, a mission seen as an important step as the country looks to push forward its space programme.

The probe, the Chang’e-4, entered a planned orbit on Sunday “to prepare for the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon”, the news agency said, citing the China National Space Administration. It didn’t say when the landing would occur.

The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side – or the “dark side” – is never visible from Earth. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon, but none has landed on it.

China launched the Chang’e-4 probe earlier this month, carried by a Long March-3B rocket. It includes a lander and a rover to explore the surface of the moon.

Xinhua said that the probe had entered an elliptical lunar orbit at 08.55 Beijing time, which brought it at its closest point just 15 kilometres away from the surface of the moon. The Chang’e-4 first entered a lunar orbit on Dec. 12.

The tasks of the Chang’e-4 include astronomical observation, surveying the moon’s terrain, landform and mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon.

China aims to catch up with Russia and the United States to become a major space power by 2030. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.

However, while China has insisted its ambitions are purely peaceful, the U.S. Defense Department has accused it of pursuing activities aimed at preventing other nations from using space-based assets during a crisis.

The space control centre will select a “proper time” to land the probe on the far side of the moon, Xinhua reported. Its descent is being aided by a relay satellite, the Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Access to Troodos controlled by Police

The Police announced that on the basis of the Health Ministry decrees aiming to contain the outbreak of the pandemic, tomorrow Sunday, access to...

129 new cases, four deaths announced on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the death of four persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 183,...

Crowding at Troodos; lots of fines by police

Lots of traffic was today seen at Troodos. In order to maintain order but also to monitor that people respected the measures aiming to...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Sunday 24 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Sunday, 24 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Parking place Lidl supermarket, Limassol 08:30-16:30 Glafkos Clerides Park, Germasoyia 08:30-16:30 Municipal...

Larry King dies at 87

Larry King dies at 87. Photo taken at his concert at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida on January 25, 2012. (Reuters)

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...