Far side of the moon, in pictures

China Clearly a Country in a Hurry When It Comes to Space

The Long March 2 G F rocket that carried Tiangong-1 into orbit

The image from the China National Space Administration shows the first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe.

The lunar rover, which is named after the pet rabbit of Chinese moon goddess Chang'e, began exploring its new landscape some 13 hours after its lander touched down on the lunar surface on January 3.

A Chinese lunar probe, which landed on the far side of the Moon earlier in January this year, has sent first panoramic image of the Moon's dark side.

Like this story? Share it with a friend! The rugged terrain will pose great challenges for planning the route of the rover, said Li.

The far side has been observed many times from lunar orbits, but never explored on the surface.

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The pictures were transmitted by a relay satellite to a control center in Beijing.

The mission consists of two robots: the Chang'e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 rover.

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

The moon's surface on this side is thicker and more pitted than the familiar earth facing side.

China's National Space Administration (CNSA) has made public a batch of selected photos, inducing a 360-degree panorama taken by a camera installed atop the lander.

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The video, lasting about 12 minutes, shows the probe adjusted its altitude, hovered and avoided obstacles during the descent process.

Scientists have said the far side is a key area for solving several unknowns about the moon, including its internal structure and thermal evolution.

"The thicker dust shows that the lunar regolith in the region has undergone longer space weathering, which also gives strong evidence of the region being older".

While China certainly has reason to celebrate the accomplishments thus far with the Chang'e 4 mission, the country still has months of scientific observation and study ahead of it before it can declare all of its objectives complete.

Yutu-2 is set to rover to the front side of the lander and return an image of the craft, like that taken by its predecessor Yutu for the Chang'e-3 mission above, before continuing to explore using its suite of science instruments. The basin is the largest and deepest impact crater in the solar system.

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