You do know that mankind first landed on the Moon way back in 1969, right? If you were born after 2005, there's a good chance that this INCREDIBLE fact may have passed you by in the storm of other facts that compete for space in our heads.
Just imagine the worldwide excitement that was generated by this amazing feat back on that July day in the late 1960's. This was the first time a human being had stood on another planetary body other than the Earth. Imagine how the world will react when we discover life that originated somewhere other than on our home planet? That's probably going to be similar to the global reaction of mankind seen on the days around the Moon landings.
I wasn't born until 1972, the year that the last lunar mission, Apollo 17 took place. Just the thought of astronauts taking steps up there, 238,857 miles away fills me with awe and wonder. How does it make you feel? Does it seem as amazing to you? I hope so.
Man hasn't set foot on the Moon since those days. But on December 7th 2018 an unmanned Chinese mission set off to somewhere that a robotic probe, let alone a human being has never been. The lunar dark-side.
We shouldn't really refer to the landing site in that way though as it's not always dark. Because of the way the moon rotates as it orbits the Earth, from our point of view, when we look up, we always see the same side. The near side. The far side is where the latest chinese probe has touched down and although people often call it the dark-side of the moon, its not always facing away from the sun and receives sunlight just like any other area of the surface.
A funny thing though. A few years ago, I was on a trip to central India. One night, a full Moon bathed the evening in reflected starlight. It was beautiful as always. But to me, and maybe it's just looking at the Moon from a vastly different spot on the Earth, it did look different. If you're ever lucky enough to go globe trotting - see what you think.
Why not try an experiment to recreate the Moon's orbit around the Earth next time you're at the park? Jump on the roundabout and set it going. Not too fast. Then, get a friend to try and keep up with you while spinning themselves. Can you recreate the same effect so your friend is always facing you? It's a recipe for dizzyness so be careful!
One of the interesting things about the latest lunar mission is the fact that a satellite had to be put into orbit in such a position that it acts as a relay for communication between mission control in China and the Moon lander. This is because... you guessed it, the space-probe touched down on the side of the Moon facing away from us.
The radio signals carrying pictures and other data are bounced off the artificial moon back down to Earth and vice-versa. Although it took 5 days for the Chang'e 3 lander to reach the Moon the communications are fortunately a little faster as can be seen from the amazing images received only hours after touchdown.
The mission aims to study the huge crater that the craft touched down in as its believed a huge and ancient impact has exposed rocks usually hidden deep below the ground. Also experiments to see if a Radio Telescope could be placed on the Moon are being carried out.
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program also hope to land men on the Moon in years to come and are working on their own equivalent to the International Space Station.
Do you want to go to the Moon? If you do, wait for the next clear night and get a good look at where you're headed. Borrow a pair of binoculars or if you are lucky enough to have a telescope, get it trained on the Lunar surface. Check out the BBC Sky at Night Website for more tips.
In the next episode of the Winter Family Saga, Oliver will get to travel to the far-side of the moon, where The Order of Saint Nicholas have a secret hidden from mankind for over a thousand years. And that's just the start of a whole new adventure.