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In the crater, gently placed

Dark side of the moon? Perhaps we should call this place more of a "silent side of the moon". Dark it is not on the far side of the moon anyway, day and night, go there. To ensure radio silence. The erdabgewandte side of the moon is shielded from interfering signals, such as by television antennas and Radio on the earth is perfect.

The rest is a reason why now for the first time a Chinese spacecraft is landed. In the night of Thursday, the Chinese state put on the device, Chang'e 4 gently in the Von-Kármán crater, a 190-kilometre-wide depression. From earth, this place is never seen, because the moon rotates at a circumnavigation of the earth at the same time, and the planet, therefore, always only one side presented. As a radio hole the place is, however, an attractive destination: The silence makes it ideal for radio astronomy, the exploration of the universe using radio waves. Such observations are now high on the Chinese Agenda.

First images in 1959,

For the people's Republic, it is also a political Coup, the first Land a space probe on this unexplored Region discontinued. The first images of the distant moon page, there was already the Soviet probe Lunik 3 in your fly-over in 1959, but robots and humans were landed on the earth's visible hemisphere.

"The landing has a large symbolic value."Johannes Weyer, technical sociologist and space expert, TU Dortmund

opened by The Mission of Chang'e 4, which is named after the moon goddess from Chinese mythology, "a new Chapter in lunar exploration," said the Chinese space Agency, CNSA said in a statement. "The landing has a large symbolic value," says the Dortmund technology sociologist and space expert Johannes Weyer. In the past the Americans would have decided the Competition in space with the Russians. Now the Chinese would demonstrate "that you want to be a technological".

satellite creates a connection to the space probe

especially, the radio-shadow-out makes the maneuver is technically demanding, since it ties up the direct communication with the country. Eight months ago, China had, therefore, already a satellite to a point in space that has both the moon and back, as well as the earth. This point is 65000 kilometers behind the moon, and serves as a world-space Parking lot for the satellite, the Chinese tax probe.

your landing Wednesday night started at an altitude of about 15 kilometers. The probe slowed her speed gradually until she scanned at a height of 100 meters, floating the surface, to detect possible obstacles. Then, Chang'e 4, landed in a flat place. The country also has a vehicle on Board, depart the crater and explore. Details of the Chinese space Agency keeps secret, even the Name of the Rovers is still unknown.

From a scientific point of view there are on the far side of the moon still much to discover. Geologists hope to gain new insights into the structure and formation of the earth's satellite. While the well-known front many dark plains, the so-called Mare, is dominated by the back of countless impact craters.

Never before, mankind has a technical device placed on the far side of the moon. China has managed to do it now. Video: Reuters

The crater, in which the "moon goddess" to Kratie, located within the 2500 km wide South pole-Aitken basin, which occupies a large part of the southern hemisphere. The crust is thin here, which promises new insights into the composition of the moon. Traces of a massive could collision in the early years of the solar system, has possibly led to the formation of the moon. In addition, the Chinese researchers want to test whether on the moon, plants thrive, and have a ride in your spacecraft to this purpose, potato seeds, and a small greenhouse.

Also interesting is the crater at the poles of the moon. Their margins are so high that the sun never goes down. On the flanks, which lie in eternal shadow, should, however, exist water ice. Both sun light, energy, and water – would be an ideal prerequisite for a lunar base, even if their build-up, all the protestations of the space agencies, in Spite of that is still off in the distance. Also, the radio astronomy on the moon's back is still at the beginning. The instruments on the Chang'e 4 dabeihat for these measurements, not approach that of large telescopes. Researchers dream of, to build such a radio telescope one day, on the far side of the moon, and to listen with so far undreamt-of precision in the cosmos.

India and Israel, it pulls on the moon

Until then, is likely to put other Nations on the moon, mainly for reasons of prestige. Also, 50 years after Apollo 11, the first manned landing on the moon, the moon is hardly to appeal. India wants to start the end of January, for example, a Mission named Chandrayaan 2. Everything as planned, then the probe will land near the South pole and a nearly 30-kilogram Rover to expose. Israel wants to tighten Beresheet in February with the state probe. It is a Remnant of a competition called the Lunar X Prize, Google to the first private company that lands on the moon and there 500 Meter, $ 20 million had promised. Although the competition was several times extended, has none of the participants tried also only a Start.

This shows how hard it is to come from the private sector fly to the moon. Although raw materials such as Helium-3, which could be used on earth in fusion reactors is stored in the moon dust, especially on the far side,. So far, however, is not possible to predict whether the reduction is worth it ever. The remaining X-Prize-participants are therefore looking for other business models. So the Berlin group New want to do on the moon with their Rovers are now advertising for a car manufacturer and a mobile phone company.

China is the matter of life, for the people's Republic of the landing is only an intermediate step. The next Mission, Chang'e 5, to collect at the end of the year, the first on Chinese soil samples from the moon and back to earth. And the sixth Version of the "moon goddess" this could repeat a few years later – again from the far side.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 03.01.2019, 20:01 PM

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