In another move that can be considered as a part of the so-called ‘Asian Space Race’, China is considering landing a probe on the side of the moon which is not seen to us by the year of 2020. If the mission goes successful, China would be the first country in the world to do so – previous manned spaceflights have orbited the moon and taken photographs in the past, but no probe has set their metallic foot there.
China landed the lunar probe named Chang’e-3, on the near side of the moon, the video of which has been uploaded to YouTube, specifically at Mare Imbrium, or “Sea of Showers”, which was the landing site of Apollo 15 in 1971 — on December 14, 2013. The probe is still roving about the moon at present.
The far sided probe called the Chang’e-4 would not launch until 2020. However, Chang’e-5 will be launched in 2 years, with an ambitious mission to land on Earth’s natural satellite, collect rock samples and return. The reason why Chang’e-5 is launched before the Chang’e-4 is that Chang’e-3’s success gave the program extra time to explore a more comprehensive mission for Chang’e-4.
Earlier this year, JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency announced that they plan to land a lunar rover on the moon by the year 2018. India has also announced plans for a mission to the red planet Mars in direct competition with Chinese Interests, which if the predictions at the moment are precise, would not take place at least until the year of 2039.