China's Chang'e-4 Lands on Moon's Far Side, Snaps First Image

An image of the rover for China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe

An image of the rover for China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe Credit Xinhua Barcroft Images

The far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is relatively unexplored.

The mission highlights China's growing ambitions to rival the U.S., Russian Federation and Europe in space, and more broadly, to cement its position as a regional and global power.

The far side of the moon has been seen and mapped before, even by astronauts of the Apollo missions.

The spacecrafts are aptly named after the legend of the Chinese goddess Chang'e, who is said to have lived on the moon for a Millennia.

The successful touch down placed the landed in Von Karaman crater located on the moon's far side South Pole-Aitken basin.

Despite the name of Pink Floyd's best-selling album, the side of the moon you can't see isn't always dark.

It's a stepping stone for country in its ambitions to become to next space "superpower" as its space exploration efforts catch up to the United States and Russian Federation.

It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the heavily cratered surface, uncloaking some of the mystery of the moon's "dark side".

How to Watch Cardiff City vs
In this country all the people are going to watch the game, but I will be in a neutral position trying to enjoy the game. That took the Denmark global to four Premier League goals for the campaign, while he has also set up a further seven.

Chang'e-4's mission is to survey the moon's terrain, measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side. China solved that problem past year when it launched a lunar satellite called Queqiao, which now acts as the communication link between the lander and Earth.

Early reports unleashed confusion after state-run media China Daily and CGTN deleted tweets celebrating the mission.

Chang'e 4 had touched down on the surface at 10:26 a.m., the China National Space Administration said.

Scientists believe that the lunar crust on the far side is much thicker than the near side. To solve this issue, the China launched a satellite in May 2018 which helped to relay information.

China's previous moon rover Yutu also conquered those challenges, and, after initial setbacks, ultimately surveyed the moon's surface for 31 months.

As CNN noted, the Chinese space program's last lander, Yutu (Jade Rabbit), went out of operation in 2016 after making history as the first spacecraft from a nation other than the USA or Russian Federation to make a lunar landing.

The landing was greeted as "an impressive accomplishment" by NASA administrator Jim Brindestine. The Chang'e 4 and its quirky rover won't be capable of that, but it will carry out a number of experiments and relay data it gathers during its time on the Moon's surface.

Not only does is position China as a space superpower in the eyes of the the rest of the world, but it also marks a landmark achievement in Earth's space exploration history.

Latest News