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If the new Chang'e-4 rover manages to successfully land on the surface, it will map the area around its landing site.

China'd Chang'e lunar far side mission, named after the mythical goddess of the Moon, includes three stages: orbiting, landing and returning to Earth. The mission, which consists of a stationary lander and a rover, will perform a variety of science work and plant a flag for humanity in a region that remains largely unexplored to date. If it is successful it will be the first time in history that humans have landed a lunar probe on the far side of the moon. The far side is a far more rugged and mountainous surface than the well-studied near side of the Moon. These temperature swings proved too much for Chang'e 4's predecessor, Chang'e 3, which landed on the moon on December 14, 2013. Because the moon rotates on its axis at the same rate it orbits the Earth, only one side of the moon is visible from Earth at all times.

There's been little news out of China on the mission since then and it's not clear whether the launch will be televised anywhere.

China was preparing to launch a ground-breaking mission early Saturday to soft-land a spacecraft on the largely unexplored far side of the moon, demonstrating its growing ambitions as a space power to rival Russian Federation, the European Union and U.S.

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The Chang'e-4 lunar probe is set to launch this month, state media has reported.

The Chang'e-4 is also assigned to prepare for future crewed missions and the CNAS's desired moon base.

China's National Space Administration is believed to be targeting the robotic lander at the Von Karaman crater, near the Moon's south pole. China's space agency aims to solve this using a relay satellite that was launched earlier this year and now sits ready to act as a cosmic operator connecting Earth and the far side via its perch at the second Lagrange point beyond the moon's orbit. The spacecraft will be carrying a lander and a rover, that is said to touch down the surface on the lunar surface. The rover will measure the subsurface layer leveraging its ground-penetrating radar. The world's first image of the far side of the Moon was captured on October 7, 1959, by the Luna-3 Soviet station, but until today, no spacecraft from Earth has ever reached it.

The mission will also characterise the "radio environment" on the far side, a test created to lay the groundwork for the creation of future radio astronomy telescopes on the far side, which is shielded from the radio noise of Earth. The launch of a Mars rover is planned for the mid-2020s. All communication with the lander and rover must be relayed via this satellite. The first and second Chang'e missions were created to gather data from orbit, while the third and fourth were built for surface operations.


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