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China has launched a lunar rover on a historic mission to explore the dark side of the moon, with the potential to make revolutionary discoveries about the possibility of extraplanetary life. Friday’s successful launch sent China’s Chang’e-4 into orbit, scheduled to make an unprecedented touch down on the dark side of the moon in January of next year, Chinese state media reports. The rover will land in the 3.9 billion year old “Von Kármán” crater, where it will take measurements and conduct experiments with the potential to uncover new information about the moon’s formation and history. The rover is scheduled to observe the possibilities for sustaining plant life and seek potential water sources in the previously unexplored expanse, as well as conduct astronomical experiments aided by the far-side’s natural shielding from Earth’s electromagnetic waves.