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Chang'e-4 Lunar Probe will Reach the Far Side of the Moon
SOURCE: China Space News     UPDATED: 2018-03-12

BEIJING, Mar. 8 (China Space News) -- The mission of Chang'e-4 lunar probe will proceed in two phases this year, and Chang'e-4 lunar probe will reach the far side of the Moon for the first time, said an official from China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

"We plan to launch Chang'e-4 lunar probe in the second half of 2018. This will be the first time for a lunar probe to land on the far side of the Moon. Chang'e-4 lunar probe will not only do a soft landing on the far side of the Moon, but also conduct in-situ and patrol exploration at the landing site," said Zhao Xiaojin, secretary of the CPC (Communist Party of China) committee at the CAST.

"In the first half of 2018, we will first launch a relay satellite to Lagrange L2 Point, where the satellite can keep communications with both the far side of the Moon and the Earth. Therefore, we can control the lunar probe for data transmission using this relay satellite," said Zhao.

Chang'e-4 lunar probe was the backup of the Chang'e-3 lunar probe which successfully landed on Moon in 2013. Zhao said the landing mode and working condition of the Chang'e-4 lunar probe are very different from the Chang'e-3 lunar probe.

"Chang'e-3 lunar probe used a slow and arc-shaped landing, while as for Chang'e-4 lunar probe we have to adopt a steep and almost vertical landing. Chang'e-4 lunar probe will have huge improvements on its capabilities because we have adopted new technologies and new products. For example, Chang'e-3 lunar probe could not work during the night, but Chang'e-4 lunar probe can do some measurement work at night," said Zhao.