The Chang’e4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 02.26 GMT and transmitted the first ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet, so most of the far side — or “dark side” is never visible to us. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it.
The probe, which has a lander and a rover, touched down at a targeted area near the moon’s south pole in the Von Karman Crater, after entering its orbit in midDecember.
The tasks of the Chang’e4 include -
(a)astronomical observation, (b)surveying the moon’s terrain, land form and mineral makeup, and (c)measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment of its far side. “It’s an important milestone for China’s space exploration,”
What it does?
The landing “lifted the mysterious veil” of the far side of the moon and “opened a new
Chapter in human lunar exploration,” the agency said in a statement on its website, which included a wideangle colour picture of a crater from the moon’s surface.