NASA sought Chinese help for US mission

            By Riyaz ul Khaliq<br />  

ANKARA (AA) – Scientists in China claimed NASA sought their help to launch a mission on the moon.

The South China Morning Daily said the revelation was made by a top scientist involved in China’s lunar project.

“Wu Weiren, chief scientist of China’s lunar program, said NASA scientists made the request at an international conference a few years ago,” the newspaper reported.

The claim was made Tuesday when Chinese scientists released pictures of a grown up seed of cotton carried to the moon by Chinese mission Chang'e 4.

“US space scientists asked permission to use Chang’e 4 spacecraft and relay satellite to help them plan an American mission to the far side of the moon,” the newspaper quoted Chinese scientist.

Wu said American scientists asked China to “extend the Queqiao relay satellite’s lifespan and allow an American beacon device to be placed on Chang’e 4.

“We asked the Americans why they wanted our relay satellite to operate longer,” Wu said. “It would help the U.S. side plan its own lunar landing strategy.”

The report said that Queqiao relay satellite played a “critical” role in Chang’e 4’s historic soft landing on the moon’s far side Jan. 3.