The Dark Side of Chandrama

The Dark Side of Chandrama


The other side of the Chandrama which is not seen from our Prithvi as it faces away from us is also called the Dark Side. It remains nearly unknown. Hence the Chinese have planned their Chang4 mission to land a probe on the dark side. A Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang 4 blasted off from the Xichang Sattelite Launch Centre located in Sichuan Province in South Western China.

Chang is Goddess of Chandrama in Chinese mythology. The Chang 4 mission has a Lander with a Rover which will explore both above and below the Chandrma’s surface at the South Pole -Aitken basin in a crater called Von Kaman Crater.The Lander will take a total of 27 days to reach and land at the crater.

The most important part of the mission is performing the radio astronomical studies because the Far side always facing away from Prithvi, remains free from interference from our planets ionosphere, human assisted radio frequencies and auroral radiation noise.The mission will also be carrying plant seeds and silkworm eggs to study the effect of space travel on them. The seed activity with Chandrama’s soil and artificial atmosphere will also be studied deeply.

To facilitate communication between Controllers at Space Centre and Chang 4 Lander, the Chinese have already launched a relay satellite earlier this year, named QueQiao or Magpie Bridge after an ancient folk lore.

About five years ago, Chinese JADE RABBIT or tutu rover had landed on Chandrama. Next year China has already planned to send Chang5 probe to bring back samples of Chandrama rocks. Last time this was done was in 1976. The first manned space Chinese mission was done in 2003, thus becoming the third Nation to do so. Then it placed two space stations in orbit, one of which is still operating. Now by 2022 it plans to operationalise its heaviest Space station weighing more than 54500 tons. A Mangal rover has been planned for mid 2020.

So China as the third country so far in space race is trying to catch up with Russia and America, very fast. However another country has now entered this club on its own strength and advancing at a rapid pace …..India.