China launched a rocket carrying the Chang'e-4 lunar rover to explore the far side of the moon, early on Saturday. The rover took off from Xichang Satellit Launch Center in Sichuan province in Southern China.
The lunar rover would provide a first close-up of the part of the moon that is eternally out of view from Earth. The lunar rover is expected to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon most likely in early January next year.
Chang'e 4, which means goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology, comprises two parts- the mainlander and a 30-pound rover. It is expected to land in the Von Karman crater, located on the back side of the moon.
The lunar rover will study the structure of the rocks and the effects of the solar wind striking the moon's surface. It will also test the ability to make radio astronomy observations from the moon's far side, sans the noise effects from Earth.
The instruments on the rover and lander consist of special cameras, ground-penetrating radar and spectrometers to help ascertain the composition of rocks and dirt on the back side of the moon.
The moon rover will also be conducting a fascinating biology experiment to check whether plant seeds will develop and silkworm eggs will hatch on the low garvity environment of the moon, reported Xinhua.