In DepthPlanetary Science

China sets out for the far side of the moon

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 982-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6418.982

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Summary

On 8 December, China will launch the first spacecraft ever intended to land on the far side of the moon, an engineering accomplishment in its own right. The far side of the moon, invisible from Earth, has a much thicker, older crust and is pockmarked by more and deeper craters than the near side; the historic mission, named Chang'e-4, is expected to produce new insights about the origin of this difference, and to be a boon for radio astronomy as well. Because the moon itself blocks direct communication between Earth and the lander, Chang'e-4 includes a communications relay satellite.