To better understand the lunar environment and prepare for a human return to the moon, the Chang'e-4 probe is setting the groundwork for a human return to the moon. "Our goal is to measure particle radiation on the lunar surface and the risk to people and equipment," said Zhang Shenyi, a researcher with the National Space Science Centre (NSSC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Zhang cooperated with German scientists in developing the first ever instrument to measure neutron radiation on the moon. This mission is seen significant as China pushes forward its space programme. China's ambitious space programme includes several manned missions, building a permanent space station and reaching to Mars.
"The measurement of neutrons is one of the important indicators to judge whether there is a water resource in the landing area," said Zhang. “Before a crewed mission to the moon, our detection could help evaluate the harm of radiation, and pave the way for a return and future exploration," he said.
"If astronauts want to go on to the moon, there are a lot of risks, such as rockets, landing and surviving on the moon. But if everything is okay and the astronauts come back to earth, the radiation on the moon is the only danger that remains in their body. So, we need to understand that," said Professor of the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics of Kiel University, Germany Wimmer-Schweingruber.
Chinese scientists are also developing such kind of instrument that could be used to explore Mars, he said.
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In support of the lunar landing programme, China will launch a carrier rocket with a 100-ton-plus payload for the first time by about 2030, report a quoted a report of the symposium published on the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the central cabinet. China's first Mars probe is scheduled to be launched on a Long March 5 by 2020 from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site, South China's Hainan Province. The probe will hopefully orbit, land and deploy a rover on the Red Planet.