China to land probe on dark side of moon in 2018Staff writer ▼ | January 18, 2016
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.
Space The far side of the moon is never visible
China already boasts mature science and technology for sending a probe to the far side of the moon, and is open to cooperation with international society, said Liu.
China achieved its first soft-landing on the moon with Chang'e-3 in December 2013, and it is still sending messages back to Earth.
Liu said Chang'e-4 is very similar to Chang'e-3 in structure but can handle more payload. It will be used to study the geological conditions of the dark side of the moon.
China sent a letter of intent of cooperation to foreign countries in early 2015.
China also plans to launch its Chang'e-5 lunar probe to finish the last chapter in China's three-step (orbiting, landing and return) moon exploration program. The Chang'e-5 lunar probe is now being developed by Chinese scientists, Liu said. ■