First 360-degree image of the far side of the Moon released
First 360-degree image of the far side of the Moon released
Enlarge Image The Chang'e 4 lunar lander sits pretty on the moon's far side in this image taken by the Jade Rabbit 2 rover. CNSA
13 January, 2019, 14:44
China on Friday (January 11) announced that the Chang'e-4 mission, the first-ever probe to land on the Moon's dark side, was a "complete success" as it transmitted images back to earth through a special relay satellite, according to a PTI report.
China on Friday broadcast pictures taken by its rover and lander on the far side of the moon, in what its space programme hailed as another triumph for the groundbreaking mission. The photos reveal a seemingly endless horizon of grey, rocky terrain.
The panorama taken from the Chang'e 4 lander at its perch in Von Karman Crater and stitched together as a full-circle view. "For the first time in human history, the spacecraft made a soft landing and patrol survey on the back of the moon, and for the first time, realized the relay communication with the Earth on the back of the moon, and with many countries".
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The Chang'e-4 probe is equipped with instruments developed by scientists from Sweden, Germany and China to study the lunar environment, cosmic radiation and the interaction between solar wind and the moon's surface, Zhang Hongbo, chief designer of the ground application system, told state broadcaster CCTV.
It also shows that the moon's far side show is surrounded by lots of craters of different sizes.
Enlarge Image The Jade Rabbit 2 rover shows off with its moon tracks in this image snapped by the Chang'e 4 lunar lander. CNSA
This ring panorama from the moon shows the lander and the rover towards the bottom.
The rover, known as Yutu 2 aka Jade Rabbit, will inspect the Moon's surface using a spectrometer, and will probe underground materials using radar.
As the Moon is tidally locked to Earth - its rotation period roughly equals its orbital period - we only get to see one side of our satellite.
He said the Chang'e-4 landed at an altitude of almost minus 6,000 metres.
The space administration also released a 12-minute video of Chang'e 4's landing utilizing more than 4,700 images taken by an onboard camera. The probe is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid obstacles on the ground.
The Chang'e 4 lander, as seen by the Yutu 2 rover.
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