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China: the landing on the "dark side" of the Moon on 3 January

The Chang e-4 probe will study the materials in the Von Kàrmàn crater

On 3 January, the 1200 kg lander and the 140 kg small rover will gather in the Von Kàrmàn crater, starting the last phase of the Chinese mission to study the "dark side" of the Moon, from where it will be collected and transmitted to the ground data and information on the soil and on the materials emerged from the mantle through which we could provide more accurate hypotheses on the formation of the Moon. The Chang e-4 probe was launched on December 8 from the Xichang space center carried by the Long March 3B/E launcher, in what is the fourth mission of the lunar program in Beijing after the launches of 2007, 2010 and 2013, when a small rover was brought together to send a lot of data to Earth until August 2016. The greatest difficulty of this latter mission is linked to the fact that the Moon will obscure radio communications, but the Chinese space agency (CNSA) has sent a signal repeater positioned in a lagrangian point from where, keeping stable in its position, the signal emitted by the lander will be retransmitted on the ground.

One of the experiments that will be performed on the lunar surface is to try to give birth to silkworm larvae, which will be contained in a mini biosphere protected by a watertight container with water, air, nutrients and potato seeds inside. Another important step forward in terms of the space exploration carried out by China which with its investment capabilities is increasingly placing itself as one of the main actors on the scene, but above all is becoming a crucial and crucial interlocutor for the next missions.

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