China has done something no one ever has before. Besides being the first to launch a space probe and rover to the dark side of the moon, they also grew a plant. With these new accomplishments, China also plans to make many more advancements in their space program.
For The Record
China launched a space probe Thursday December, 27th on a mission to the dark side of the moon. The probe had a smooth and precise landing making it the first time any man made object has landed on that side of the moon. Photos were taken by the probe relaying the images on a satellite the Chinese called Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) showing the world a place never seen from the Earth. Due to the scientific phenomenon known as tidal locking the back side of the moon is never visible to a naked eye or telescope for that matter. Along with the probe, a rover will be driving around the uncharted territory taking pictures of whatever it can get its lense on. The rover, called Chang’e-4, will also examine the lunar surface studying mineral composition and shallow structure and will perform low-frequency radio astronomical observation. The most surprising thing on the probe however was a cotton seed planted in soil and sitting inside a partially controlled climate. Sadly, the seed was killed that night as a result of terribly cold weather. Nonetheless, they were the first humans to grow any plant and provide future space goers with vital information for upcoming missions.
China, although new to the space game, is making huge strides in their program. Joining the United States and Russia, China landed a rover on the moon in 2013. They have come from just starting a program to practically leading the space race. Experts say China could challenge the United States for supremacy in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and other fields in the future. China now has come out with plans to begin operating its third space station by 2022. China is trying to find a way to 3D print a manned base on the moon. The ultimate goal would be to send astronauts to stay on the lunar surface and possibly weaponize the moon with an arsenal of rocket propelled nukes.
As plans begin to unfold, the moon could be the new territory fought over in the solar system. Will China take over space supremacy and take a leap ahead of the rest of the world? Is a new type of warfare on the horizon? Lastly, will China be the first to possibly occupy the moon?