Sunday, 20 January, 2019


Russia's Roscosmos head congratulates Chinese colleagues on successful landing of Chang'e-4

Yutu 2 leaving track marks as it begins to explore the surface of the far side of the moon Yutu 2 leaving track marks as it begins to explore the surface of the far side of the moon
Kristine Garrett | 08 January, 2019, 06:15

Previous moon landings have been on the near side.

"Since the far side of the moon is shielded from electromagnetic interference from the Earth, it's an ideal place to research the space environment and solar bursts, and the probe can "listen" to the deeper reaches of the cosmos", Tongjie Liu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center for the China National Space Administration, told CNN.

China's Chang'e-4 lander-rover spacecraft has landed on the moon's far side - the first in history.

After touching down, the Chang'e 4 probe sent a photo of the far side to the Queqiao satellite, which is relaying communications to controllers on Earth, state broadcaster CCTV said.

China's space programme lags America's, but has made great strides in the past 15 years, including manned flights and a space laboratory that is seen as a precursor to plans for a space station.

This picture taken on December 8, 2018 shows a Long March 3B rocket, transporting the Chang'e-4 lunar rover, lifting off from the Xichang launch centre in Xichang in China's southwestern Sichuan province. Named after a Chinese moon goddess, the spacecraft comprises a lander and a rover.

China has chosen the name "Yutu-2", or Jade Rabbit-2, for its new moon rover, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced late Thursday.

The Yutu-2 rover moves across the far side of the Moon.

It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the moon's mysterious and heavily cratered far side.

China was the first to complete a "soft landing", without damage, on the far side of the moon. The probe will study geological conditions on the South Pole-Aitken from both above and under the surface.

According to the CNSA, in the following days, Yutu-2 and the lander will face the challenge of extremely high temperatures in the lunar day.

The pioneering achievement is another demonstration of China's ambitions to be a space power.

Beijing is planning to send another lunar lander, Chang'e-5, later this year to collect samples and bring them back to Earth.

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