The mission uncovering secrets of the Moon

Dark side? In reality, the far side gets just as much sunlight as everywhere else on the Moon. © Michael Carroll/ILOA

Would you like to live on the Moon? A new NASA spacecraft is heading to the dark side of the Moon. It could pave the way for new exploration – and future human trips deep into space.

What’s happening

The Moon is visible from Earth almost every single night. But there is one part that we have never seen.

It is known as the dark side of the Moon. For years, it has remained a mystery. But now a new mission hopes to find out more about this unknown part of space.

Find out more

Despite its nickname, the dark side of the Moon is not dark at all. In fact, every part of the Moon gets the same amount of sunlight. It is known as “dark” because we know so little about it.

The reason we never see the far side is down to something called tidal locking.

NASA’s mission will discover more about this mysterious side of the Moon. It will visit a part of the surface called Schrödinger’s Crater. There, it will measure seismic activity.

It will not be the first time we have explored the far side of the Moon. In 2019, China landed a probe on the surface.

The mission is part of the Artemis program. If it is successful, it will allow astronauts to return to the Moon by 2024.

Would you like to live on the Moon?

Some say…

Yes! Just think how exciting it would be. You would be part of history by moving to the Moon. And you could make a fortune! You could be the first lunar influencer or write a book about your experiences. It might be difficult, but it would be worth it!

Others think…

No. The Moon is a cold, grey desert. You would get bored quickly with nothing to do and the same scenery for thousands of miles. Your photos would even become repetitive! If you want to live in space, it would be better to move to Mars. It has scenery, mountains and weather. Cities there would be much more fun.

You Decide

  1. Would you rather live on the Moon or on Mars?

Activities

  1. Draw a picture of what you imagine the far side of the Moon to look like.

Some People Say...

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910), American novelist

What do you think?

Word Watch

Almost
The Moon is not visible during the new moon phase.
Nickname
This is not its official name. Experts describe it as the far side, because it is a more accurate description.
Tidal locking
When one side of a celestial body – like a planet or a moon – always faces another.
Schrödinger
Named after Erwin Schrödinger, an Austrian physicist.
Probe
An instrument designed to examine something. Because of previous studies, we know that the far side of the Moon has far more craters than the near side.
Lunar
Relating to a moon.
Influencer
Somebody whose job it is to use social media to encourage people to buy or do things.
Repetitive
Something that repeats a lot.

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