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A Radio Telescope Has Been Sent To Explore The Far Side Of The Moon

The Chang’e-4 mission had its fourth installment in the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program after its launch in December 2018. The mission lander and Yutu 2 are the first ones to have made a soft landing on the far side of the Moon by the first half of January 2019. The same mission was the first one to have successfully cultivated a plant on the Moon. The Netherlands-China Low Frequency Explorer (NCLE) has recently shown to have started operating after years of orbiting the Moon. The equipment was placed on top of the Queqiao communications satellite and it has long monopole antennas that can sense radio frequencies within 80 kHz. The equipment has helped Chang’e-4 take the next leap into its mission.

The Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) and the China National Space Agency (CNSA) have together made this radio observatory possible. The NCLE was built by China and Netherlands to conduct radio astronomy tests while orbiting the Moon. The far side of the Moon is the best location as there will be no terrestrial radio interference. The researchers plan to examine the light from the most primitive periods of the Universe to understand the Universe. The dark matter and dark energy are also being studied. The Queqiao satellite helps connect lander, rover, and mission controllers on Earth. The data gathered to date seem to be sluggish and thus, the researchers plan to collect more data through the antenna before making any conclusions.

Likewise, China’s Chang’e-4 mission rover Yutu-2 has moved up to 318.62 Meters on the far side of the Moon with the goal of performing scientific exploration of the virgin territory. After 11 Days, the rover has decided to hit the dormant stage as on the lunar body a lunar day equals 14 Day and similar is the case for the lunar night. The rover will help study low-frequency radio astronomical surveillance, analyzing the landforms & terrain, identifying the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure plus also determining neutron radiation and neutral atoms.

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