China's chang'e-4 probe changes orbit to prepare for moon-landing

China probe readies to land on dark side of the Moon

China’s lunar probe changes orbit to land on dark side of moon

The Chang'e 4 robotic probe is expected to land on the South Pole-Aitken basin on the silver sphere's far side sometime between Wednesday and Thursday, according to information from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, a major contractor of the country's lunar exploration programs.

"The probe has entered an elliptical lunar orbit, with the perilune [closest point] at about 15 km and the apolune [maximum distance] at about 100 km", the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced Sunday. A successful landing will make Chang'e-4 the first ever spacecraft in history to land on the far side of the Moon. This is because due to the far side, any direct communication between the rover and Earth will get blocked by another hemisphere.

But as per Smithsonian Institution, American museums and research centres group said that the craft was said to be set down on Von Karman crater some time in between January 1st and 3rd 2019.

In May, China launched a relay satellite tasked with transmitting signals between Chang'e 4 and ground control.

Whatever else 2019 may bring, there's a host of rare astronomical events on tap in the coming 12 months, starting in January.

The space control centre will select a "proper time" to land the probe on the far side of the moon, Xinhua reported.

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When the Moon enters the Earth's darkest shadow it nearly disappears in the sky - but a trick of the light paints it a deep red hue. "This mission could pave the way for more serious development on that side".

On July 2, there will be a total solar eclipse (when the moon passes directly in front of the sun), but it won't be visible in North America, only in parts of the southern Pacific Ocean and some parts of South America.

They were dubbed maria, Latin for "seas". Let's take a closer look at the three bits in its name. The mare basalt represents scientist's best look at the moon's overall composition and its mantle, the layer between the core and crust.

At 12:12 a.m. ET on January 21, a rare lunar phenomenon known as a super blood wolf moon eclipse will be visible in the night skies over North and South America and western parts of Europe and Africa.

"8:55 30 Dec Chang'e-4, was successfully implemented exit the lunar orbit and successfully logged on to a scheduled training course for the landing on the back side of the moon", - stated in the message. "We should be able to identify the lander and rover tracks if not the rover itself", Robinson said.

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