Chinese spacecraft is expected to become the first landed in the "large part" of the moon, in an important step for human space exploration.
The craft is aiming to land in the unexplored basin South Pole Aitken, the biggest, the oldest, the deepest, crater on the surface of the moon.
The robotic probe, Chang & # 39; e 4, entered into an elliptical path around the moon at the weekend, reaching close to 15km (9 miles) from the surface. The mission control of China did not confirm a time for the attempted touchdown but state-run media reports have suggested that early Thursday morning time of the United Kingdom.
The craft space took pictures of most of the moon before, but no landings never t If Chang success & # 39; e marks a step towards the ambition of China to becoming a major power in the exploration of space along with the US and Russia.
One technical hurdle in the target side of the moon constantly faces away from Earth is the direct communication with the spacecraft is not possible. So messages to and from Chang & # 39; e 4 are transmitted from the satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), which is in & # 39; "halo orbit" on the other side of the moon.
The mission aims to take detailed measurements of the terrain and mineral composition of the moon. The basin Aitken thought to be formed during collision ġiganteska very early in the moon's history. The collision x & # 39; likely shed material from the interior of the moon, which means that Chang & # 39; e can provide new clues about how it was formed natural satellite.
The large side of the moon is also seen as an attractive site for radio astronomy. A telescope that is protected from human activity Radio, potentially making it more sensitive to radio burst following the sun or bad signals from deep space. Chang & # 39; e 4 carrying an instrument to judge the "electromagnetic cleanliness" of the place as a first step to assess the possibility of putting a telescope there.
Lucie Green, a space scientist at University College London, said: "You are completely protected from all the emissions we in the World to b & # 39; so you can & # 39; get that we can not data to achieve x & # 39; elsewhere . Over the years there has been much discussion about the potential of getting a telescope on the large side. This mission could pave the way for more serious development on that side. "
Since the cycle of the moon revolution is the same as its rotation cycle, the same side of the planetary body always faces the Earth. The other face, that most of them can not be seen from Earth, called the large side or "the dark side" of the moon, not because it is dark, but because the most of it is no timetable.