The Moon had a Really Rough Day

Astronomers are largely convinced the Moon was formed during a collision between our planet and one the size of Mars, billions of years ago. Now, new research from an international group of astronomers suggest a second, later, collision between the Moon and a dwarf planet may explain questions about the geology of the Moon. Such an event, billions of years ago, may be the easiest way to explain differences between the Earth and Moon, as well as between the near and far side of our lunar companion.

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Can China Build a Moon Colony in 10 Years?

Zhang Kejian, leader of the China National Space Administration, announced his country plans to build a colony on the Moon within a decade. The structure will be constructed using a 3D printer, and would be home to human space travelers, visiting on a long-term basis. China recently became the first nation to ever land a probe safely on the far side of the Moon. NASA hopes to place people on the Moon in 2024, for the first time in more than 50 years.

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Is China Leading the Exploration of Space?

The Chinese space program recently landed a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, and has begun growing plants there. Neither of these feats have ever been accomplished by any other nation. Bolstered by their success, the Chinese space agency has announced plans to return sample materials from the Moon and Mars, and to construct a base on the Moon, to be constructed with a 3D printer. These missions have some people asking if China is now leading the way in space exploration, surpassing the United States and Russia. The U.S. has not sent an astronaut past low-Earth orbit since 1972.

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Growing Flowers on the Lunar Surface? China Lands Chang-e 4 Rover on the Far Side of the Moon

The Chang-e 4 spacecraft touched down on the far side of the Moon on January 3rd, marking the first time the distant half of the lunar surface has been visited by a robotic explorer. The Chinese spacecraft arrived with a rover, the Yutu 2, which was successfully released to explore the alien landscape. Also on-board is a miniature biosphere, containing four species of plants, yeast, and fruit flies. Mission planners hope to use the system to grow flowers on the Moon, an experiment which could lead the way to growing food for the future human colonization of the Solar System.

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