China hopes to become the first nation to land a probe on the far side of the Moon, according to a white paper on space published by the government on Tuesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The paper, titled “China’s Space Activities in 2016,” looks back on the country’s space endeavors since the program began in 2011 and sets out plans for another five years.
“We will launch the Chang’e-4 lunar probe around 2018 to achieve mankind’s first soft landing on the far side of the moon, and conduct in situ and roving detection and relay communications at earth-moon L2 point,” the paper reads. The Chinese government expects the lunar probe to provide clues on how the Earth’s only natural satellite came to be and evolved. The Soviet Union was the first to crash-land a probe on the near side of the Moon in 1959. Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we’ll keep you up to speed!