Chinese Probe Sends Back First Image Of The Dark Side Of The Moon

January 4, 2019

dark-side-of-the-moon.jpg

This is the first image sent back to earth from China's Chang'e-4 probe, the first spacecraft in human history to land on the far side of the moon (at least that world governments are willing to let us know about). Some more info while I daydream I'm there eating moon cheese and crackers and trying to thumb a ride with some aliens:

Navigating to the far side poses a unique communications challenge. Sometimes known as the "dark side" of the moon, even though it does receive sunlight, the far side never faces the Earth because of tidal locking. That means budding human (or robot) explorers have to find a way to establish and maintain radio contact.


China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images
To communicate with the Chang'e 4 mission on the moon's surface, the Chinese space agency launched the Queqiao relay satellite into a halo orbit over the dark side of the moon in May. The satellite overcomes the communications challenge, allowing the lander and rover to phone home, via relay, and send scientific data back.

Honestly, I'm just happy we're still doing space stuff. It's depressing to think people don't care about space anymore, so it's a refreshing reminder we're still making an effort. Granted not nearly enough effort to actually save humanity before we destroy earth, but at least we gave it the ol' college try.

Keep going for a video, which includes the probe's descent and some animations while I admire how Star Trekkie the China National Space Agency logo looks.

Thanks to beard, who agrees Pink Floyd would be happy.

  • BookCake

    Aaah... China. Never contented with having a few islands. Started merging the moon as part of their 9 dotted line just in time for the Lunar Festival

  • Deksam

    Someone had to do it...

    https://www.youtube.com/wat...

  • Deksam
  • Douchy McDouche

    Tomorrow news: China builds military base on moon. Claims moon as its property.

  • Megatron Jenkins

    I dunno, GW, I don't think humankind should be allowed off this rock in the first place. Imagine being in the record books for littering the first candy wrapper on Mars.

  • Richard H Sanford

    Why are we not discussing why their space-faring symbol look more like Starfleet than ours??

  • Nicholas Conrad

    At first I thought the overlay must be added later, couldn't believe it

  • Munihausen

    It is rather outrageous, yes.

  • Sebastian Sauvage

    That's what I came here for haha, like straight up United Federation of Planets lol

  • Megatron Jenkins

    How do you say Live Long And Prosper in Chinese?

  • 健康长寿·繁荣昌盛

  • Megatron Jenkins
  • Munihausen

    I think it's the same phrase as "This way to reeducation camp, you Uighur scum."

  • Chris Clark

    Was just thinking that...

  • Bling Nye

    Fingers crossed they spot the Monolith...

  • Megatron Jenkins

    Dude, that was 18 years ago, where you been?

  • disqus_CzVZIgtP0x

    If its the dark side of the moon, how come it looks like it is lit up by a flood lamp? And if it is lit up by a flood lamp, why are they wasting power they will never be able to recharge using the sun that will never be visible? Something sounds fishy here. Dare I say, a Chinawood stage somewhere?

  • GeneralDisorder

    "Dark" as in "opposite the earth". The moon and earth are "tidal locked" meaning that the side of the moon that faces earth is always the same. The dark side isn't "dark" as in no light but "dark" as in "we can't observe it from earth"

  • Bling Nye

    Indeed, "dark" as in "radio silence" not "visible light".

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