Video of Chang'e-4's successful touchdown on moon

Chinese Rover Wakes Up on Moon's Far Side After Lunar Nap

China's Yutu 2 rover explores the far side of the moon shortly after its Jan. 2 2019 touchdown. Credit CNSA

The first panorama from the dark side of the moon.

The rover, named after the moon goddess's pet rabbit, successfully separated from the lander and drove onto the moon's surface last Thursday.

The rover for China's Chang'e-4 mission has restarted activities following a period on standby as a precaution against high temperatures as the sun rose to its highest point over the landing site on the far side of the Moon.

Officials behind Beijing's Lunar and Deep Space Exploration Programme (CLEP) this week released a panoramic shot of the Von Kármán crater, taken by the lander, revealing a barren, pockmarked landscape littered with a few rocks here and there.

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 China National Space Administration (CNSA) said the initial stage of the mission was a "complete success" after the lander and the rover sent back images via the Queqiao relay satellite that beams data back to Earth.

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The pictures on state broadcaster CCTV showed the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and the Chang'e 4 spacecraft that transported it on the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, which always faces away from Earth.

In 2013, China became just the third country, after the USA and the then-Soviet Union, to successfully "soft land" on the Moon when its Chang'e 3 lander reached the lunar surface.

"From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling", Li was quoted as saying.

Humanity has sent dozens of probes to the near side of the moon, however, Chang'e 4 is the first spacecraft to reach the far side, which is more hard due to communication problems stemming from the fact that an entire relay system is necessary in order to pass messages to mission control.

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

"The Chang'e-4 mission is the first of the fourth phase of China's lunar exploration mission, and it's the first time in human history that a spacecraft realized soft-landing and toured the far side of the moon".

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