Chinese spacecraft first to land on moon’s far side

Robotic probe makes ‘historic’ landing on moon’s far side that never faces Earth, local media reports

Chinese spacecraft first to land on moon’s far side

By Fuat Kabakci


China’s spacecraft became the first to land on the far side of the moon on Jan. 2, local media reported on Thursday.

China's National Space Administration said robotic probe Chang’e-4 landed on the far side of the moon that is never visible from the Earth at 10:26 a.m. Beijing Time (0226GMT), according to Xinhua news agency.

The news agency also shared the first photos showing the moon’s far side taken by the Chinese spacecraft, adding:

“The probe, comprising a lander and a rover, landed at the preselected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude on the far side of the moon."

China launched the Chang’e-4 on Dec. 7 from southwestern Xichang city.

The probe is also “expected to study the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure of the Moon's far side, as well as perform low-frequency radio astronomical observation,” according to China’s international media organization CGTN.

Describing the landing as “historic,” the CGTN said that the spacecraft “will be a key step in revealing the mysterious side of the Moon”.

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