Chinese Moon Rover Making Tracks on Lunar Far Side

James Marshall
January 5, 2019

China successfully landed a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon Thursday, becoming the first country to ever do so. Yutu 2 has already put a fair bit of space between itself and the lander, trundling over near the rim of a small crater on the floor of Von Kármán, which itself lies within an even larger impact feature - the 1,550-mile-wide (2,500 km) South Pole-Aitken Basin. Until now, all manned and unmanned soft landings have taken place on the near side of the moon making the Chinese mission truly historic.

"The Chang'e-4, carrying eight payloads, will conduct low-frequency radio astronomical observation, survey the terrain and landforms, detect the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure and measure the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the Moon".

Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp from its lunar lander yesterday to explore the moon's surface.

China's mission is to learn more about the little-understood region of the moon and compete with the United States and Russian Federation as a powerhouse of space exploration.

The first photos from the landing, shared by the China National Space Administration on Thursday, show the first close-ups of the far side of the moon's cratered surface. It is also able to climb 20-degree hills and objects 8 inches tall. The official China Central Television said the lunar explorer Chang'e 4 had touched down at 10:26 a.m. EST. "And it is what our generation and the next generation are supposed to do", said Chang'e-4 chief designer Dr. Wu Weiren, of China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China was the first to complete a "soft landing", without damage, on the far side of the moon.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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