You may want to cue a few deep cuts from Pink Floyd, but the Chinese have become the first to land a spacecraft on the Dark Side of the Moon.
On Thursday morning, the Chinese craft, Chang’e 4, landed in the unexplored area and broadcast the first close-up images of the dark side ever taken by man.
According to the Daily Mail:
While stationed on the moon, the Chang’e-4 will attempt to reach the famous Von Karman crater in the Aitken basin, the largest impact crater in the entire solar system at eight miles (13 km) deep and 1,600 miles (2,500 km) in diameter.
It will also be tasked with carrying out mineral and radiation tests, presenting scientists with the first-ever chance to examine materials from the far side of the moon.
This side of the moon is never seen from earth and cannot be seen by telescopes because the “near side” of the moon always faces earth’s surface while the “far side” faces away from our planet.
The far side of the moon is more rugged and mountainous than the near side where humans have landed numerous times. That makes exploring the area more treacherous for remote vehicles.
But this isn’t about mere science. It turns out that China’s main goal is to set up a military base on the moon.
Beijing is pouring billions into the military-run programme, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon.
That’s right, folks. The Chinese intend to militarize the moon.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.