Far side of the moon, in pictures

China moon rover Jade Rabbit,China moon rover,moon rover

China moon rover Jade Rabbit,China moon rover,moon rover

China's space agency has released panoramic photographs taken on the lunar surface by the country's Chang'e 4 probe - the first manmade craft to land on the mysterious far side of the Moon.

Researchers hope that low-frequency observations of the cosmos from the far side of the moon, where radio signals from Earth are blocked, will help scientists learn more about the early days of the solar system and birth of the universe's first stars. This is the first mission ever that aims to explore the Moon's far side from the surface. After making a soft landing on January 3 at 10:26 am, Chang'e 4 released a lunar rover to roam and survey its surroundings in the Von Karman crater, the moon's largest, oldest and deepest one, located in the South Pole-Aitken basin.

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

Chang'e-4 landed within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin, the largest and deepest impact crater in the solar system.

Showing the rover moving away from its lander, officials with the China National Space Administration said they marked a "total success" for the mission.

The craters close to the rover - including one that was 20 meters wide (65 feet) with a depth of about four meters (13 feet) - will pose great challenges when planning its route, Li said.

The CNSA on Friday released several images taken by the Chang'e-4 probe transmitted back via the relay satellite Queqiao.

The Yutu 2 rover, as seen by the Chang'e 4 lander.

Panoramic image of the far side of the moon.

"The information from the depths of the moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", said Li.

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. "We will conduct comparative research between the landing areas of Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4", Li said.

"We chose a vertical descent strategy to avoid the influence of the mountains on the flight track", Zhang He, executive director of the Chang'e-4 project said in a statement. The exploration might offer clues as to why the bombardment occurred, said Zou.

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