Thu. Sep 19th, 2019

What Will we Learn from China’s Landing on the Far Side of the Moon?

As China becomes the first to successfully land on the far side of the moon, one must wonder exactly what will they discover and what it will mean to mankind.

Moon by Per

Photo by Per on Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

I’m never one to jump on a new piece of news right away, but don’t think that means I wasn’t paying attention to China’s landing on the far side of the moon last week. On January 2, Yutu 2 touched down on making China the first country to officially do so.

A Precursor for Manned Missions and a ‘Moon Palace’

The Chinese have made consistent progress towards the moon over the last 40+ years. In 2018, they led the world with more orbital launches than any other country – including The United States[1].

China would like to put men on the moon in the future, but has no set target date. The Chinese have also been doing testing in a simulated space station – a 370 day trial where Chinese students stayed inside the simulated environment wrapped up in May of 2018[2].

The Moon’s Importance to Space Travel & Research

While the moon is widely considered to be barren, it’s an important jumping off point for further exploration.

As pretty much all of the rocket engineers who were responsible for the Apollo missions are now deceased, it’s likely that the rocket technology needed to send manned missions back to the moon needs to be ‘relearned’.

Having a permanent presence on the moon is also a chance to figure out how to live long-term on a non-earth body.

The far side of the moon is especially tantalizing for deep space research using radio telescopes. Since it never faces earth, a radio telescope position on the far side of the moon would be able to listen out to deep space without all the local noise coming from earthly technologies[3].

Not So Fast on the ‘Far Side Alien Civilization’ Theories

I know a lot of people who follow this blog also read up on conspiracies about alien civilizations on the far side of the moon. And while you can’t prove a negative, these stories have taken on a life of their own.

The headlines are already out there if you really wanna look for them – even though the landing happened just days ago and it’s unlikely China would have released any real findings just yet.

In this case, it’s best to probably wait until some high resolution pictures are available before rushing down some YouTube hole and old articles that have been rehashed to make them more appealing.

Alien moon base conspiracies are nothing new, so let’s take our time and actually wait for something new.

Cheer On the Chinese

I might not have a popular opinion here, but I’m happy for the progress the Chinese have made. Even though I’m not in China.

The reality is that any progress we make towards space exploration as human beings is to be celebrated. Our future survival won’t be ensured until we become a multi-planet species.


Sources & Additional Reading:

Featured Image by Per on Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

1. Space.com: China Just Landed on the Moon’s Far Side – And Will Probably Send Astronauts on Lunar Trips

2. Space.com: China Wraps up 1-Year Mock Moon Mission to Lunar Palace 1

3. Wikipedia: Far Side of the Moon

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