China will be sending the Chang’e-4 probe to the far side of the Moon in 2018, said China’s Xinhua on Friday.
“The far side of the moon is never visible to earth because of gravitational forces and has never been explored by humans,” Chief of SASTIND lunar exploration centre Liu Jizhong said in a recent article. “Chang’e-4 will be the first mission in human history to embark on this expedition.”
China achieved its first soft-landing on the Moon with Chang’e-3 in December of 2013. According to the article, Chang’e-4 is very similar to Chang’e-3 in structure but can handle more payload. It will be used to study the geological conditions of the far side of the Moon, Xinhua reported.
China is also developing a chang’e-5 lunar probe to finish the last chapter in china’s three-step (orbiting, landing and return) Moon exploration program.