With the first landing on the far side of the moon space program celebrates China’s world-a milestone. As the space probe “Chang’e 4” touches down on Thursday morning, exactly at the scheduled time in order to 3.26 PM in the Aitken crater near the South pole, relief among the scientists and engineers in the Beijing control center, wide.

The maneuver was considered to be particularly difficult, because the back side of the moon in the radio shadow on the earth. With the Chinese spacecraft “Chang’e 4” is now landed, for the first time a man-made object on the far side of the moon.

“The landing has a symbolic value,” says the Dortmund technology sociologist and space expert Johannes Weyer. The Americans would have supplied in the past with the Russians in a Competition for supremacy in space – and won. Now the Chinese come in.

competition for the USA

“demonstrate that you want to be a big technological,” says Weyer. China had stationed a satellite that sends signals from the probe to the earth behind the moon maneuvered.

Also All need to get used to the US now that you’ve got competition. With robot vehicles, the only photos of the surface of the moon, no longer wants to settle for China in its ambitious plans for a long time.

Chinese lunar probe “Chang’e 4” (graphics)

Hardly is landed after the Chinese moon goddess named “Chang’e 4”, is set to Beijing closely by a clock pulse space, plan the next Mission. “Chang’e 5” should be this year, rock samples from the moon brought to earth. For 2030 in Beijing, the first Chinese plant on the moon.

“everything depends on Everything else”, says Ouyang Ziyuan, a leading scientific Advisor to the Chinese lunar programme. China think in the very long term, and also show interest in the raw materials on the moon – Helium-3. The isotope is considered as a possible fuel for nuclear fusion power plants in the distant future.

robot vehicle is to start

The current Mission seems relatively down-to-earth: After the arrival of the probe is a robot vehicle to examine the ground and the structures around the landing point. It is equipped with a panoramic camera and measuring devices. Plans include experiments with low radio frequencies.

Without an atmosphere or other disorders, how on earth can field, astronomers, in the silence of space better signals, you hope for new insights, for example about the origin of the stars.


in Addition, it has loaded the “Chang’e 4” seed that is to be examined, whether growing vegetables in a closed environment, power of the moon’s surface is at low.

On Board is also a by scientists of the Kiel Christian-Albrechts-University of developed radiation measuring. The Kiel Experiment should be measured at least for a year the radiation and the water content of the soil and send data back to earth. The findings of this should help future manned missions to the moon to prepare.

But not only on the moon Beijing has ambitious plans. 2018 China sent for the first Time, more rockets into Orbit than any other country. The load that can carry new missiles, generations, has been rising steadily.

race has begun

So not to be for China only and soon, a trip to Mars a reality, but already in the near future, the construction of a large Chinese space station, the success of which is constantly manned. In 2022, they will be ready for operation.

China’s space projects to serve the Prestige and the scientific-technical development. The country, but also military interests. Military experts in China point out that future wars will be won in All.

“Who’s shooting rockets into space, it can also threaten other countries. The need to always have in the back of the head,” says space expert Weyer.

To the new military competition in All of the United States as a President Donald Trump for a long time. He has created a new military command with “Space Command”. The race to be the He started at All.

By Jörn Petring, dpa/boj