(Xinhua) As the Chang'e-4 probe made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, a senior Chinese space expert said China will deepen its lunar exploration and venture further into the unknown.|
Photo taken by the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) on Jan. 11, 2019 shows the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe. China announced Friday that the Chang'e-4 mission, which realized the first-ever soft-landing on the far side of the moon, was a complete success. With the assistance of the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) and the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe took photos of each other. [Photo: Xinhua/China National Space Administration]
China's current lunar program includes three phases: orbiting, landing, and returning. The first two phases have been accomplished, and the next step is to launch the Chang'e-5 probe to collect 2 kg of samples and bring them back to the earth, said Wu Weiren, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chief designer of China's lunar exploration program.
There are still many mysteries about the earth's nearest heavenly neighbor and future missions will be more exciting. The program will also promote China as a major player in space exploration.
"We are discussing and drawing up the plan for the fourth phase of the lunar exploration program, including missions to the polar regions of the moon," Wu said.