The stage has been set for a new space race between China and the US. China has sent a lunar lander to the dark side of the moon. Since communication is not feasible from the dark side the Chinese had to send a relay satellite up in a specific location so that they can transmit information from the craft and earth.
Since the space program of China is run by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLO) where science is secondary the world is wondering what their mission is really. China has been studying how to acquire routine cislunar capability. Their mission was to collect scientific information from the moon, conduct space operations, and maneuver spacecraft located deep in space. China has demonstrated that they can be present, loiter and intercept for military use of space.
The craft may be used to measure the chemical and mineral compositions of the moons surface. In addition, it may study the low frequency of radio sky from the far side which is shielded from the radio noise of the earth’s ionosphere. This will help is future studies of the dark side of the moon.
The missions to the dark side of the moon may prove to be informational to the science world but is that what China intends. For national security the world should not ignore the capabilities of this mission from China.