The Chang’e-4 spacecraft is set to launch from the Xichang satellite launch center in Sichuan, in order to explore uncharted territory on the moon’s surface.
The Chang’e-4 spacecraft will aim to land on the moon’s South Pole, specifically at the Aitken basin’s Von Karman crater, which is considered the largest in the entire solar system at 15,000 miles (24,000km) across and 8 miles deep.
The spacecraft will be carried by the Long March-3B carrier rocket.
If everything goes according to plan, the spacecraft is expected to perform a ‘soft landing’ on the lunar surface after traveling for 27 days through space.
#China’s #ChangE4 lunar probe,carried by Long March-3B carrier rocket, is expected to launch between 2:14 am to 2:36 am Saturday from the Xichang satellite launch center in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province：Xichang govt #moon pic.twitter.com/Iq9EaU4p1E
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) December 7, 2018
As we have explained in previous articles, Chang’e-4 primary mission is to visit the unexplored region of the South Pole-Aitken Basin, located in the southern hemisphere of the far side of the moon, the region includes the Von Karman crater, among many others point of interest that the Chinese Space Agency is eager to explore.
Bo Wu, a geoinformatician at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, told Scientific American “It is a key area to answer several important questions about the early history of the Moon, including its internal structure and thermal evolution.”
Chang’e-4’s mission has been described as a ‘hugely ambitious’ project and heralded as a sign of China’s growing intentions to compete in the new space race with the prowess of the US, Russia, and countries of the European Union.
The daring mission will undergo radio-astronomical studies ‘free from interference from our planet’s ionosphere, human-made radio frequencies, and auroral radiation noise,’ space industry expert Leonard David told Space.com.