China landed robotic spacecraft to the Moon

China landed robotic spacecraft to the Moon

Question: Consider the following statements in reference to the spacecraft launched by China:
(1) China successfully landed its spacecraft Chang`e-4 to the moon on January 3rd 2019
(2) The spacecraft landed on the Far (darker) side of the Moon
(3) China, with this joined the group of US and Russia to successfully land the spacecraft on the darker side of the moon
(4) This spacecraft will conduct various biological experiments and will analyze unexplored region of moon
Correct option is:
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 2 and 4
(d) All of the above
Answer: (c)
Related facts:

  • China created history on January 3rd, 2019, with the successful landing of spacecraft named Chang`e-4 on the darker side (also called Far side) of Moon. This made China the very first nation to make the first spacecraft soft-landing on the moon’s darker side.
  • This uncrewed spacecraft was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre and landed in the Von Karmen Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin of the Far side of the Moon.
  • The spacecraft has sent back its first picture from the surface of Moon. With this, China joined the group of United States of America and Russia as the nations to make successful “soft landing” on the Moon.

 About Chang`e-4:

  • Chang`e-4 is named after the Chinese moon goddess. It was launched on December 7, 2018 and arrived in lunar orbit on 12 December, 2018.
  • Chang’e-4’s static lander is carrying two cameras; a German-built radiation experiment called LND; and a spectrometer that will perform low-frequency radio astronomy observations.
  • The lander also carried a container with six live species from Earth – cotton, rapeseed, potato, fruit fly, yeast and arabidopsis (a flowering plant) – to try to form a mini biosphere. Other equipment/experiments include a panoramic camera, radar, an imaging spectrometer, lunar neutron, low frequency radio spectrum analyser and more.
  • It will lead the study of yet not visited Far side of the Moon as well as the mystery of evolution of Moon. It will study the sheet of melted rock that would have filled the newly formed South Pole Aitken Basin as well as the broken up rocks and that make up surface.
  • It is also important to know that being landed of the Far side of the moon, cannot communicate directly to stations for which a communication relay satellite Queqiao was launched in last May to serve the very purpose of communication establishment between Chang`e-4 and the Space station.

Far side of the Moon:

  • The Far or Dark side of the Moon is that hemisphere that always faces away from earth and is invisible.
  •  This is because of ‘tidal locking’ phenomenon by which we see only one part of the Moon as it takes the same time to rotate on its axis by moon as it takes to complete orbit of Earth. Dark side has thicker, older crust pocked with more craters while near side have a thinner shell.

Links:

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-01/03/c_137716998_2.htm

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46724727

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/dark-side-of-the-moon/article25902901.ece

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