Chang'e-4 Lunar probe is on its way to the moon

Last week we talked about the Chinese Chang'e-4 lunar probe that China was set to launch to study the far side of the moon. The probe launched in the early hours of Saturday morning and that lunch went off without a hitch. China sent the probe towards the moon atop a Long March-3B rocket.

The Chang'e-4 Probe itself includes a lander and a rover that will tool around the moon's surface. The launch happened at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province at 2:23 am. If the probe successfully lands on the far side of the moon, China will become the first nation to explore that part of the moon with a lander.

The far side of the moon always faces away from the Earth and is sometimes called the dark side of the moon, though it's not always dark there. China's director of the Chang'e-4 probe mission says that after the soft landing on the far side of the moon new first-hand study of the terrain and lunar soil components will be made.

The primary goals of the mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, the far side of the moon is particularly well suited to radio observation as it is blocked from most interference from Earth. The mission will also investigate the terrain and landforms along with the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure.

China will also measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms present to study the environment on the far side of the moon. Three different scientific and technological experiments loaded aboard the probe by Universities in China will be performed during the mission. All we know about the far side of the moon so far has come from images taken from orbit.