China Reaches into Space


Amadi Hays-Latimore, Sports Editor

China is finally catching up in the space race… only 43 years after it seemed to have ended. However, China is taking it to new levels and; on January 3rd, 2019 they landed a rover called Chang’e 4 on the far or dark side of the moon. This is a feat never accomplished before by any country.
So while the U.S may be the only country to successfully send people to the moon, China is now the only country to make it to the far side of the moon. In 2013 China sent the Chang’e 3 to the moon, making it the first to moon expedition since the Luna 24 in 1976.
In an article by National Geographic reporter Michael Greshko, he explains the science of the moon and why that side of the moon is called the far side. He talks about how the same side of the moon is always facing the earth. Greshko states, “The moon both rotates on its axis and orbits Earth once every 28 days. That means the same side of the moon always faces Earth, and the far side is the half we can’t see from the planet’s surface”.
There are many complications with landing on the far side of the moon which have delayed any expeditions of this sort. According to Greshko, the moon blocks all radio contact. So when satellites and other spacecraft cross behind the moon they lose communication the earth. He explains how the CNSA has gotten around this problem. He writes, “The Chang’e-4 mission has gotten around this problem with a relay satellite. In May 2018, CNSA launched a satellite called Queqiao into orbit around L2” This satellite allows relay between mission control and the rover allowing it to send images of the moon back to earth.
China is making groundbreaking leaps in the space exploration and is looking into Mars missions in the 2020s. They are already looking for landing sites, “China has selected two preliminary areas on Mars for what will be the country’s first landing attempt at landing on another planet, to take place in early 2021”. NASA is also planning Mars missions in the early 2020s. Will this be the next space race? Only time will tell.