Chinese rover powers up devices in pioneering moon mission

The Yutu 2 rover moving farther across the moon's surface

The Yutu 2 rover moving farther across the moon's surface

While the USA, Russia and China have all successfully landed spacecraft on the side of the moon that faces earth, China alone has just landed on the "far" or "dark" side.

On Wednesday night (Jan. 2), the Chang'e 4 rover and its stationary-lander companion pulled off the first-ever soft touchdown on the lunar far side, coming to a rest inside the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it.

It is the second Chinese spacecraft to land on the only natural satellite of our planet, following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.

Amid Renewed Threat From China, Taiwan Calls For International Support
The territory's leadership sent out a shockwave by releasing army drill pictures this winter. It's in deep dispute over issues ranging from trade to the status of Taiwan .

"As long as we keep it clean of radio interference, the far side of the moon is very good for radio astronomy", he said.

Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project, told CCTV it was "a small step for the rover, but one giant leap for the Chinese nation", according to the AP.

The probe also took six live species - cotton, rapeseed, potato, arabidopsis, fruit fly and yeast - to the lifeless environment to form a mini biosphere, Xinhua said. Both China's space community and public have taken pride in the accomplishment, with some drawing comparisons to the United States. Beijing plans to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.

Patrick McCaw waived by Cavaliers
McCaw appeared in just three games for Cleveland, averaging 1.7 points and one rebound in 53 total minutes. In two seasons with the Warriors, the 6-foot-7 shooting guard averaged four points in 128 games.

Nevertheless, this is a significant step in China's bid to become a leading power in space exploration, alongside the United States and Russian Federation.

But the private space race is also heating up, as numerous companies aim to commercialize space travel, such as California-based SpaceX, which has upended the industry with its low-priced reusable Falcon 9 rockets.

Zhu Menghua, a professor at Macau University of Science and Technology who worked with Beijing on the mission, said the mission's success is a major milestone for the country and establishes it as a pioneer in space exploration. Since the moon blocks direct communications, China had to first put a satellite in orbit to relay signals.

Pence, Trump administration officials to get raises amid shutdown
The scheduled raises appeared to be an unintended effect of the government shutdown , The Associated Press reported. Trump is demanding billions of dollars for his long-promised wall along the southern border.

Latest News