Yesterday at 10.26 am Beijing -23.26 am GMT, the ANC announced that the Chang 4 probe had conquered the crater von Kármán, the immense depression forming the Aitkenen basin, the southern pole of the Moon. The event was a real milestone in the history of the human exploration of the universe, because it was the first time a technology managed to quench the hidden side of the satellite and travel through this area, which can not be seen on Earth. The probe was sent on December 8th through a rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan Province of Southwest.
"When the moon revolves around the Earth, it always shows us the same face." "What has happened is unprecedented and as if we were awaiting for the first time." Although there are already photographs of this hemisphere taken by the US and USSR during the Cold War – the ship has never conquered this region, "says Diego Bagu, astronomer and director of the La Plata National University Planetarium. As the specialist says, the hidden face of the Moon was photographed in 1959 by a Soviet ship. Since that time, countless missions have studied, mapped and classified this scenario, but the pending debt would begin with in-situ studies. "China left us an antecedent immediately in 2013 when their agency lowered a vehicle (Changes 3) on the visible side. However, this new event is fundamental: it is simply the first time a a device built by human beings has settled in such a less explored region, "says Mariano Ribas, scientific journalist and coordinator of Galileo Galileo Planetarium's scientific dissemination in Buenos Aires.
Now, what is a test? For what purpose do you travel in this area of the Moon? Is it just a geopolitical dispute between the United States? and Russia where China sinks, or else there are cosmic riddles that require more solid explanations by science? To begin – and in a synthetic way – it is possible to say that there are two types of probes: those that descend and those that are characterized by orbit around satellites and planets. Chang's 4, successor to Changsha 3, is a first-type device and will not stay fixed, but will move through the multi-purpose and varied monthly scene. He will make astronomical observations, describe his mineral composition and depths, and will try to clarify the characteristics of the environment. It is also intended to take full advantage of the virtues of Yutu-2 (a "jade hare" in Mandarin), an explorer (Rover) that accompanies the navy and has already attributed several experiments, among which some captivating would be the growing vegetables and flowers in sealed containers, created for this occasion by 28 universities in the country.
"The rover will be able to detect ice in the first few meters of the basement. It is something that has been explored for twenty years, as there is firm evidence that would try to prove this hypothesis and find frozen water. long-time crew: water could be used by astronauts as fuel because it would greatly facilitate transfers during the stay, "explains Ribas. "These are very sophisticated technological devices. We must keep in mind that these are probes that have to operate in a vacuum, so you can not lose sight of the fact that they must be suitable for being carried out under very specific and different conditions terrestrial ", Bagu explains. In addition, all the collected material and the captured images will be sent to Earth from Quequiao, a satellite and the Eastern flag.
For decades, in the classrooms of high schools and universities, the space flight of the United States and the USSR has served as an example to explain the Cold War and the bipolar world. Both nations opted to suspend the armed confrontation, but the conflict happened tacitly on all fronts. Thus, they challenged the throne to place the first men in space, conquer the Moon, and climb to the top of the science and technology podium. As is known, the obsession of the human being to comfort its natural satellite has several chapters; so the conquest of the present unites with the countless unmanned mission still in work and the six crews that had their 1969 celebration, with Apollo XI, Neil Armstrong and the company.
As with any phenomenon of international repercussions, caution should be exercised. In this context, the Chinese Federation should not be surprising, but it functions as an alarm clock that begins to accustom and persuade human beings about the virtues of Oriental power. The Chinese space program has been whistling for decades, and in a short time – as it is before 2026 – it will send a crew mission to the moon. She even has her own language to call her space captains: neither astronauts (like the US) nor cosmonauts (like Russia), but "taikonauts."
"China has a very ambitious monthly program, the goal is to achieve space supremacy, we are faced with a new spatial race, with private actors such as Elon Musk and his famous SpaceX," says Bagu. In the same way, Ribas understands: "Undoubtedly, this event is still a link that can trigger a downward pursuit. It should not be interpreted as an isolated act but as a stitch in a chain of highly planned events. In the coming years, we will have more news about China as a space power, "he concludes.