October 26, 2021

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It's been 62 years since the first images of the hidden side of the moon

It’s been 62 years since the first images of the hidden side of the moon

First image of the far side of the moon (Europa Press)

October 7 this year marked the 62nd anniversary of the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3, the third launched to the Moon, sending the first images of the far side of our natural satellite back to Earth..

Although they were pictures of poor quality (especially when compared to the latest), Unprecedented historical photographs of the far side of the moon caused excitement and interest when they were published around the world, and create a temporary atlas of the far side of the moon after the images have been improved thanks to its processing.

A Chinese mission to the far side of the moon, Chang'e-4, has been successfully awakened in the image.  Lander and Rover resumed work for their 27th mission day (Europe Press)
A Chinese mission to the far side of the moon, Chang’e-4, has been successfully awakened in the image. Lander and Rover resumed work for their 27th mission day (Europe Press)

These views are mountainous terrain, quite different from the visible face, and two dark areas named Mare Moscoviense (Moscow Sea) and Mare Desiderii (Sea of ​​Desire).. Mare Desiderii was later considered to consist of a small sea, Mare Ingenii (Sea of ​​Creativity), and many dark craters.

camera, AFA-E1 dual lens, using 35mm Isochrome film Resistant to radiation and extreme temperatures, with the ability to take 40 photos. A 200mm lens is designed to photograph the entire lunar disk while a 500mm lens can photograph an area on the surface. The camera was installed on the ship and its goal was achieved by rotating the prototype itself..

A 200mm lens is designed to photograph the entire lunar disk while a 500mm lens can photograph an area on the surface.
A 200mm lens is designed to photograph the entire lunar disk while a 500mm lens can photograph an area on the surface.

I took the camera 29 photos in 40 minutes, on October 7, 1959, from 3.30 to 04.10 UTC, at distances between 63,500 km and 66,700 km above the surface, covering 70% of the far side of the Moon.

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Seventeen (also said to be twelve) of these images were successfully transmitted to Earth, and Six have been published (photos numbered 26, 28, 29, 31, 32 and 35). These were the first ideas mankind had of the hidden hemisphere of the moon.

NASA bets on a huge radio telescope on the far side of the moon (Europe Press)
NASA bets on a huge radio telescope on the far side of the moon (Europe Press)

A triumphant return to the standard mission

Three Chinese astronauts recently began their journey back to Earth after a record-breaking 90-day mission to build a space station. from his.

this mission Shenzhou 12Launched in June shortly before the centenary celebrations of the Chinese Communist Party, it is filled with the national prestige of President Xi Jinping’s government.

It is the longest made by Chinese astronautsThe agency in charge of manned flights confirmed in a statement.

The space agency said the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft was successfully detached from the Tiangong (“heavenly palace”) station, to which it had been attached for three months.

The previous Chinese manned mission, Shenzhou-11, dates back to late 2016 and lasted 33 days.

The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-12 arrived three weeks ago on Earth with three astronauts on board. From the space station that the Asian country is preparing to start operating next year. Pictures broadcast by state television CGTN showed the capsule landing “vertical” in the Dongfeng landing area in the Gobi Desert.in Inner Mongolia Province, North China.

The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-12 arrived to Earth three weeks ago, carrying three astronauts, from the space station that the Asian country is preparing to start operating next year (Reuters)
The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-12 arrived to Earth three weeks ago, carrying three astronauts, from the space station that the Asian country is preparing to start operating next year (Reuters)

spatial exits

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during your mission, The astronauts worked on installing the space station, which launched its first element in April. They made several exits into space.

The Shenzhou-12 mission is the third launch of the 11 missions that will be required to build the station, between 2021 and 2022. Four of those missions will be operational.

Once finished, Heavenly Palace will be similar in size to the old Soviet Mir facility (1986-2001) and is expected to have a useful life of at least 10 years, according to China’s space agency..

China’s interest in having its own human base in Earth orbit was prompted by the United States’ refusal to grant it access to the International Space Station (ISS).

The latter – a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan – is due to be withdrawn in 2024, although NASA says it will likely remain in place after 2028.

On the right, the far side of the moon
On the right, the far side of the moon

During the mission launch in June, Commander No Haisheng The national character of the operation was emphasized.

For decades, we have written glorious chapters of Chinese space history, and our mission embodies the hopes of the people and the party itself.announced.

President Xi Jinping, for his part, emphasized at the end of June during a video call with the crew that “this contribution opens up new horizons for humanity in the peaceful use of space.”

The country’s space program is controlled by the military.

China has invested billions of dollars over decades to catch up with space powers like the United States and Russia..

The opposite side of the Moon and Earth, the background is top left
The other side of the Moon and Earth, top left in the background

Target: the moon

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After launching its first satellite in 1970, China sent its first astronaut into space in 2003. In 2013, it placed a robot on the moon’s surface.

The Asian giant also plans to send astronauts to the moon before 2030 and build a base in cooperation with Russia.

As for Mars, Chinese engineers sent a remote-controlled robot that landed on the Red Planet last May.

China achieved another success in January 2019 with a world first: a remote-controlled robot (“Jade Rabbit 2”) landing on the far side of the moon.

With information from Europa Press and AFP

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