China will launch the Chang'e-4 lunar spacecraft by the end of the year, which is expected to make its first soft landing on the far side of the moon. After landing, the interplanetary station will establish communication with the Earth. According to Xinhua News Agency on Thursday, the Chang'e-4 will plant the seeds of potatoes and other plants delivered there on the lifeless lunar surface.
According to the statement of the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA), the "greening" of the natural satellite of the Earth will take place as part of the "Lunar Mini-Biosphere" experiment, for which the seeds of potatoes, rezukhovidki (Latin Arabidopsis, a flowering plant of the family cabbage), as well as silkworm eggs. According to the researchers, it is expected that "specially installed CCTV cameras will record the process of seed germination and transmit the recording to a laboratory on Earth."
In 2016, the China National Space Administration announced a competition to develop a plan for the first lunar biological project. The Lunar Mini-Biosphere was selected from among 200 applicants participating in the competition. Representatives of 28 universities of the PRC, headed by scientists from Chongqing University (a city of central subordination of Chongqing, Southwest China), took part in its development.
According to experts, the mission of the lunar apparatus "Chang'e-4" will be one of the most ambitious space projects this year. It is expected that the interplanetary station will establish communication with the Earth through a repeater at the L2 Lagrange point. The mission will also provide scientists with a platform to further explore the far side of Earth's natural satellite. The Chang'e-4 will include an automatic lunar station and a lunar rover that will be used for geological research.
Earlier it was reported that the Chang'e-4 apparatus should be launched into space using the Changzheng-5 launch vehicle, which was launched in July last year with the Shijian-18 satellite on board. In the official statements there was information that the reasons for the unsuccessful launch were established, and it was announced plans to re-launch it this year.
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