China Shares Pictures From Far Side Of The Moon

Posted: Jan 13 2019, 11:08am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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China Shares Pictures from Far Side of the Moon
Credit: China National Space Administration

Chang'e 4 is the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the moon's far side.

China accomplished a historic feat this year by landing a robotic mission on the far side of the moon. The Chang'e-4 lunar probe - named after Chinese moon goddess – lifted off from the southwestern Xichang launch center in December and made the first-ever controlled soft landing on Moon’s far side on January 3.

On Friday, China released a collection of images taken by Chang'e 4 spacecraft and its rover Jade Rabbit 2. The images show rugged lunar terrain which could present challenge for navigation in future. so far, the rover is healthy and functioning properly on the surface of moon.

"The lander, its rover, and the relay satellite are all in a stable condition. They have reached the predetermined engineering goals, right now they are getting into the stage of scientific searches," said Zhang Kejian, director of the China National Space Administration. "Now I declare that the Chang'e 4 mission, as a part of the Chang'e Lunar Exploration Program, has been a success.”

Chang'e-4 is humanity's first mission to explore the far side of the moon, which can't be seen from Earth. Previously, United States, the former Soviet Union and China itself sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which is tidally locked and always faces Earth. The far side has been observed many times from orbits around moon, but never explored up close.

China landed its first Yutu or "Jade Rabbit" rover on the moon in 2013. The latest rover Jade Rabbit 2 targets Aitken Basin, a vast impact region in moon’s south pole. New images show that the far side is rocky and heavily cratered.

“From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling.” Li Chunlai, commander-in-chief of the ground application system of Chang'e 4, said.

Besides lunar images, China also released a 12-minute video of Chang'e 4's landing on moon’s far side. They pieced it together by combining more than 4,700 images taken by a camera onboard Chang'e 4 spacecraft.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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