With the recent successes of the United States and the European Union in their various space missions, China is now planning to make its own big splash in the space exploration scene by attempting the very first lunar probe landing on the far side of the moon.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have started drafting plans for what they call Chang'e 4 mission, which is set to be launched before 2020.

In an interview with the state-operated CCTV news channel on Wednesday, Zou Yongliao, a member of the academy's moon exploration department, said that the objective of the mission would be to analyze the geological conditions on the far side of the moon, also known as its dark side.

Zou said that Chang'e 4 mission will likely have a similar structure to the Chang'e 3 mission but it will be able to carry a larger payload.

The Chinese researchers hope that the Chang'e 4 lunar mission could eventually result in the installation of a radio telescope that could help astronomers have a better understanding of the universe.

It is believed that the dark side of the moon would make an effective location for placing sensitive instruments as radio transmissions from Earth fail to reach the region.

The next scheduled lunar mission for China is slated for 2017 in which Chinese researchers will attempt an unmanned spacecraft landing on the moon in order to retrieve samples for analysis. If the mission proves to be successful, it would make China only the third nation to have achieved the feat after the United States and Russia.

Chang'e, China's moon exploration program, was named after a goddess from ancient Chinese mythology. The space program has already sent a pair of orbital probes to the moon and landed a spacecraft with a rover onboard on the natural satellite in 2013.

The country has also hinted about plans of sending a manned space mission to the moon.

China has successfully launched its first manned mission to space in 2003. Since then, the country has carried out a series of carefully planned and timed space missions, including the deployment of its own orbital space station.

Photo: Janet Ramsden | Flickr 

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.