China Moon Landing – A Big Step Forward for Chinese Space Exploration

It has been nearly five decades since the first human set foot on the moon. Since then, only four countries have had the opportunity to do so: the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, and China. On the 3rd of January 2019, China made history by becoming the first, and currently only, country to successfully achieve a soft lunar landing since the 1970s. This monumental event marks progress in Chinese space exploration and has boosted their credibility in the space race. Below is a look into the Chinese space program, their latest landing mission, and the implications of a successful moon landing.

China’s Space Program

In April of 1970, China officially established the China National Space Administration. Since its inception, the CNSA has acquired vast advancements in the space sector and has developed many groundbreaking initiatives in the space industry. The country has established an ambitious and expansive space exploration program which has seen the launch of numerous satellites, and two space stations— Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2.

The CNSA has also developed several space missions to the moon, including their Chang’e lunar exploration program. Over the years, the program has conducted various tests, from robotics to 3D imaging, to prove its capabilities in space technology. As a consequence of this, China has become one of the leading players in space.

Chang’e 4 Mission

In December of 2018, after many years of preparation, the CNSA launched a robotic spacecraft called Chang’e 4. This mission was aimed at soft landing the spacecraft on the far side of the moon, an unprecedented feat that had never before been achieved. The mission was successful and the spacecraft made a successful and smooth landing at the Von Kármán crater, located on the far side of the moon.

The landing process was complex and took many stages to get right. Firstly, the mission had to specialize one of their orbiters to launch in the proper direction and distance away from the moon. Once in descent, the probe had to be oriented precisely to land safely and softly on the moon’s surface. Finally, the spacecraft had to activate its wind deflectors and landing gear simultaneously to make it to the surface in one piece. After a month of travel, the mission was successful and Chang’e 4 had made it on the moon’s surface.

What Did China Accomplish?

The Chang’e 4 mission involved many difficult stages, not least of which was the actual landing itself. The success of the mission has been applauded by scientists and astronomy enthusiasts alike due to the inherent dangers and difficulty of the situation.

The mission accomplished many goals, from gaining more knowledge about the moon’s surface to providing China with a platform to demonstrate their capabilities as a space faring nation. As a result of this mission, China has become the only nation currently to have successfully completed a lunar landing.

What Does This Mean for China?

The successful Chinese moon landing was a major victory for Chinese space exploration. It has placed China in a much more competitive position in the space race and has left other nations, particularly the United States, in awe of China’s progress.

In addition to the publicity and recognition that the landing has generated around the world, it has also allowed China to explore the far side of the moon in a way that has never been done before. This means that, by analyzing the moon’s structure, the evaluation of natural resources, and the development of astronautics, China can gain a considerable advantage in the space industry.

The successful Chinese moon landing is a major victory for not only the Chinese space program but for space exploration as a whole. China’s mission, by accomplishing its goals, has allowed for a new opportunity for research and investigation.

This is just the first of China’s resources for testing, developing, and executing more advanced space missions. In the future, we will likely see China as one of the leading countries in the global space race.