Yesterday, at 10.26 am Beijing -23.26 On Wednesday, during the time of Argentina, the National Space Administration of China (ANEC) announced that Chang's 4 probe conquered the Crater von Karman crater, the huge depression that forms the confluence of the Aitkenen Southern sex on the moon. The event was a real milestone in the history of human exploration of the universe, as it is the first time technology has succeeded in clashing with the hidden side of the satellite and traveling through this area that can not be seen from the Earth. The probe was sent on December 8 by a rocket from the Xichang Satellite Center in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
"When the Moon revolves around the Earth, it always shows us the same face. What happened is unprecedented and for the first time we are expecting a lot." "Although there are photos of this hemisphere – made by the United States and the USSR during the Cold War "The ship never conquered this region," said Diego Bagu, an astronomer and director of the Planetarium at the National University of La Plata. As for the specialist, the hidden face of the moon was photographed in 1959 by a Soviet ship. Since then, countless missions have studied, mapped, and classified this scenario, but the debt that was waiting was to begin with on-the-spot studies. "China left us an immediate predecessor in 2013, when their agency landed with a vehicle (Chang 's 3) on the visible side. But this new event is of fundamental importance: it is only the first time that a device built by human beings has settled into a region so little explored, "said Mariano Ribas, a scientific journalist and coordinator for the scientific dissemination of the Planetarium Galileo Galilei in the city of Buenos Aires.
Now, what is a probe? What are the goals to travel to this area of the moon? Is it just a geopolitical dispute between the United States? and Russia in which China is covering up, or there are cosmic enigmas that require more robust explanations of science? Let's start – and in a synthetic way – it can be confirmed that there are two types of probes: those that descend and those that are orbiting around the satellites and planets. Chang's 4, successor to Chang's 3, is a device of the first type and, therefore, will not remain fixed, but will move through the lunar scene with multiple and diverse purposes. He will make astronomical observations, describe his mineral composition and its depths as well as will require to specify the characteristics of the environment. It is also planned to fully exploit the virtues of "Utah-2" (meaning "jade rabbit" in Mandarin), a researcher (Rover) who is accompanying the mother and has already appointed several experiments, among which some eye-catching ones growing vegetables and flowers in hermetic containers designed for the occasion by 28 universities in the country.
"Rover will be able to detect ice in the first meters of the surface, something that has been explored for twenty years, because there are solid data that would like to prove this hypothesis and find frozen water. This could be the key to the extended stays for Crew trips: water can be used by astronauts as fuel, because it will greatly facilitate transfers during the stay, "explains Ribas. "They are very sophisticated technological devices. We must keep in mind that these are probes that must operate in a vacuum, so it can not be lost sight of the fact that they should be suitable for deployment under very specific and different conditions of terrestrial "explains Bagú. In addition, all collected materials and downloaded images will be sent to Earth from Quequiao, a satellite also from the eastern flag.
For decades, in the classrooms of high schools and universities, the US Space Race and the USSR served as an example of explaining the Cold War and the bipolar world. The two countries have decided to suspend armed confrontation, but the conflict occurred on all fronts tacitly. Thus, they challenged the throne to put their first humans in space, capture the moon, and climb to the top of the science and technology podium. As is known, the obsession of the human being to capture his natural satellite has several chapters; so the conquest of the present joins the countless unmanned missions that are still active, and the six crew members who celebrated in 1969 with the remembered Apollo XI, Neil Armstrong and the company.
As with any phenomenon of international repercussion, it is necessary to pay attention. In this context, the Chinese struggle should not be surprising, but it functions as an alarm clock that begins to get used to and convinces human beings about the virtues of oriental power. The Chinese space program for decades played low and in a short time – according to the claims, before 2026 – will send a mission with a crew on the moon. It even has its own language to name its leaders of the universe: neither astronauts (such as the United States) nor cosmonauts (like Russia), but "tycoons".
"China has a very ambitious lunar program, the goal is to achieve the supremacy of space, we are experiencing a new space race, which also plays private actors like Elon Musk and his famous SpaceX," Bagu says. In the same way Ribbas understands: "Undoubtedly, this event is another link that can cause the next downhill drive. It should not be interpreted as an isolated struggle, but as a pistol in a chain of very well planned events. In the coming years we will have more news for China as a cosmic force, "he concludes.