China’s space agency has taken the first step towards the robotic landing to be take place on the far side of the Moon. China has successfully launched the lunar communication relay satellite which is designed to support the mission which will put the lander and a rover on the far side of the Moon in the later part of the 2018.
The name of the satellite which will support the mission is Chang’e-4, which is a relay satellite and it is accompanied by two microsatellites. They are liftoff from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre at 21:28 UTC on Sunday. The spacecraft which has lifted off has successfully got into the lunar transfer orbit and it was successfully separated from the rocket’s upper stage. The main agencies for this mission are China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
According to the Zhang Lihua, who is the manager of the relay satellite project said, “The launch is a key step for China to realize its goal of being the first country to send a probe to soft-land on and rove the far side of the Moon.”After 25 minutes of the launch, the spacecraft has started the trip towards the halo orbit of the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point L2. The spacecraft is scheduled to go through a series of test to see whether the functions work properly or not.
If all goes as per plan, then China will be attempting to launch Chang’e-4 spacecraft later this year and it will land on the far side of the moon. As the moon is “Tidally Locked”, it requires a communication relay satellite to have continuous contact with the Earth. The E-M L2 which is a gravitational stable will allow for a stable orbit from which it can perform its task easier. This launch is the China’s fifth lunar launch mission.