China to land probe on dark side of moon in 2018
China has officially begun a new round of lunar exploration and will send the Chang’e-4 probe to the far side of the moon in 2018, China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced.
The far side of the moon is never visible on Earth because of gravitational forces and has never been explored by humans. Chang’e-4 will be the first mission in human history to embark on this expedition, said Liu Jizhong, chief of the lunar exploration center under SASTIND.
China already has the ability to send a probe to the far side of the moon, and is open to cooperation with the international community, said Liu.
China achieved its first softlanding on the moon with Chang’e-3 in December 2013, and it is still sending messages back to Earth.