China broadcasts spacecraft pictures from moon's far side

Gwen Vasquez
January 13, 2019

Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the ideal place from where to study the universe.

Chang'e-4 landed within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin, the largest and deepest impact crater in the solar system.

Panorama shot taken by China's Moon lander with a picture of its detached rover scooting off in the distance.

China became the first country to successfully land a probe on the far side of the Moon when the Chang'e 4 lander reached the lunar surface on January 2.

The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) also released two new pictures that Chang'e 4 and Yutu 2 snapped of each other.

The spacecraft is equipped with radar, cameras, and spectrometers for studying the far side of the Moon. The probe's first image of the lunar surface was beamed back to Earth later that night.

The CNSA on Friday released several images taken by the Chang'e-4 probe transmitted back via the relay satellite Queqiao.

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In 2013, China became just the third country, after the US and the then-Soviet Union, to successfully "soft land" on the Moon when its Chang'e 3 lander reached the lunar surface.

The rover, which had been put in "standby" mode to protect it from the Sun's heat, was then switched on and, along with the Chang'e-4 probe, took pictures of the landing site and its surroundings.

The moon's surface experiences days and nights that each last about 14 Earth days, and the mission landed just after sunrise at Von Kármán Crater.

"The information from the depths of the moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", he said.

The space administration also released a 12-minute video of Chang'e 4's landing utilizing more than 4,700 images taken by an onboard camera. The Chang'e 4 is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid craters and uneven surfaces before it lands.

The pictures, shown on the state broadcaster CCTV, showed the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and the Chang'e 4 spacecraft that transported it during the first soft landing on the side of the moon that always faces away from Earth.

The Chang'e 4 lander, as seen by the Yutu 2 rover.

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