China's Chang'e-4 touching down on far side of the moon

15 2016 the supermoon rises over a logo for AVIC or Aviation Industry Corp a state owned enterprise involved in China's manned space mission in Beijing. China vowed Tuesday Dec 27 2016 to speed up the developme

"The process was recorded by the camera on the lander and the images were sent back to the Earth via the relay satellite "Queqiao"," the report said, quoting China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side is never visible from Earth.

The rover - named Yutu 2, or Jade Rabbit 2 - left the spacecraft, drove off a ramp and began making tracks on the moon's surface at 10.22pm on Thursday, about 12 hours after Chang'e 4 landed.

China on Thursday landed its Chang'e 4 spacecraft on the moon's far side - also known, mistakenly, as the "dark side" - which no nation had done before.

The historic journey of Chang'e-4 began at around 2:23 a.m., Beijing Standard Time, on December 8, 2018, when it took off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

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In 2003, it became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket after the former Soviet Union and the United States, and in 2013 completed its first lunar "soft landing".

Chang'e 4, a combined lander and rover, will make astronomical observations and probe the composition of the soil.

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.

"I think this is very good evidence that we are now able to compete with the Americans", said energy company employee Yao Dajun.

These new images offer some new insight into the previously mysterious far side of the Moon, with the Chang'e-4 probe set to conduct a series of experiments to further explore the unknown lunar regions.

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Chang'e 1: China's first lunar mission launched in 2007.

It communicates with Earth via the Queqiiao relay satellite, which launched in May to enable contact between ground controllers and Chang'e-4.

China's burgeoning space program achieved a first on Thursday: a landing on the so-called dark side of the moon.

However, this only refers to the side of the moon being unseen on earth - it still receives sunlight.

Since the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, the same side always faces the Earth. This geological landmark resides within the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the biggest crater on the moon.

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The far side's terrain is rugged with a multitude of impact craters. It plans to start operating its first space station by 2022, launch probes to Mars and send astronauts out again.

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