China’s prophesied rise in space exposes the dangerous weakness of the West.
China achieved a world first on January 3 when its moon lander, Chang’e 4, made a soft landing on the far side of the moon. This is another triumph in China’s quest to dominate the 21st century’s space race, and it will have important consequences for us on Earth.
Many probes have photographed or crash-landed onto the moon’s far side, but Chang’e 4 is the first to make a “soft” lunar landing, a type of landing where no serious damage occurs to the spacecraft. This is a tricky manoeuvre because signal transmissions from Earth are blocked by the other half of the moon. Continue reading