Earlier today, the China National Space Administration's Chang'e 4 landed a rover on the far side of the moon for the first time. Blocked from direct communication with the Earth, the lander and rover will depend on China's Queqiao communication satellite launched in May. From the New York Times:
“This is a major achievement technically and symbolically,” said Namrata Goswami, an independent analyst who wrote about space for the Defense Department’s Minerva Research Institute. “China views this landing as just a steppingstone, as it also views its future manned lunar landing, since its long-term goal is to colonize the moon and use it as a vast supply of energy.”
The place the probe is exploring, Dr. Goswami said, could become a future refueling base for missions deeper into space in the way “navies viewed coaling stations, for purposes of refueling and resupply.”
The instruments aboard the lander and the rover include cameras, ground-penetrating radar and spectrometers to help identify the composition of the area, which was formed by a meteorite. Scientists hope the rocks and dirt in the area will add to the understanding of the moon’s geology.
The lander will also conduct a biology experiment to see if plant seeds will germinate and silkworm eggs will hatch in the moon’s low gravity.
The California turret spider build tiny towers on the forest floor that extend underground into a burrow. At night, they climb up into the tower and await their dinner — beetles, moths, and other insects. Video above. From KQED’s Deep Look: While remaining hidden inside their turret, they’re able to sense the vibrations created by […]
A cotton seed has germinated on the moon. The sprout is inside a canister on China’s Chang’e 4 lander that touched down on the far side of the moon earlier this month. From The Guardian: Plants have been grown previously on the International Space Station, but this is the first time a seed has sprouted […]
I wanted to make fudgy brownies.
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