For astronomers, the far side of the moon is a place of ideal tranquility, as the body of the moon shields against radio interference from the earth. From there, they can study the origins and evolution of stars and galaxies, peering into the dawn of the universe.
Chang’e-4’s low-frequency radio astronomical observation on the moon’s far side will fill many gaps in astronomical observation.
The probe also took six live species — cotton, rapeseed, potato, arabidopsis, fruit fly and yeast — to the lifeless environment to form a mini biosphere, which is expected to produce the first flower on the moon.
Chinese space engineers also plan to measure temperatures on the surface of the moon from day to night to get first-hand data.
“Exploring the far side of the moon is one contribution China is making to the world. Although we still don’t know what we might find, this exploration might influence several generations,” said Shen Zhenrong, a designer of the lunar rover.
Wu Weiren said: “Exploring the unknown is human nature. The moon is a mysterious world to us. We have a responsibility to explore and to understand it. Exploration of the moon will also deepen our understanding of the earth and ourselves.”