China is aiming to become the first nation to land a probe on the dark side of the Moon, however, the communist government is being secretive about questions regarding the mission, failing to confirm its suspected launch date this weekend, Fox News reports.
The Chinese National Space Administration is seeking to land the robotic lander at the Von Karaman crater, which is near the Moon’s south pole.
Some researchers suggest it is the oldest impact crater in the entire Solar System, meaning it could be an ideal location for water ice and a rare hydrogen isotope carried on the Solar wind.
The Change’e-4 lander will touch down inside the crater to survey the contents in the surrounding area. Reportedly it will also experiment on low-gravity plant growth.
Back in May of this year a communications satellite was launched, enabling the mission to become a possibility.
If launched this weekend, Chang’e-4 will likely touch down on the Moon’s surface on December 31, Fox News reported.
The next mission is the Chang’e-5 lander, which is scheduled to launch next year, it is designed to collect a sample of the Moon’s dusty surface and return it to Earth for analysis.