Beijing, Jan 3 (IECurrentAffairs) China says it has successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first ever such attempt and landing.
The un-crewed Chang’e-4 probe touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.
The probe, comprised of a lander and a rover, touched down at the preselected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude on the far side of the moon at, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced.
With the communication assistance of the relay satellite Queqiao, meaning Magpie Bridge, the probe sent back the first-ever close-up photograph of the moon’s far side, opening a new chapter in lunar exploration.
Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon.
The Chang’e-4 lunar probe mission, named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology launched in December from the southwestern Xichang launch centre.
It is carrying instruments to analyse the unexplored region’s geology, as well to conduct biological experiments.
The landing is being seen as a major milestone in space exploration.
The Chang’e-4 probe has already sent back its first pictures from the surface, which were shared by state media.
With no direct communication link possible, all pictures and data have to be bounced off a separate satellite before being relayed to Earth.