Chang'e 4: China probe lands on far side of the moon

Chang'e 4: China probe lands on far side of the moon

The Chang'e-4 probe is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, and includes low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side.

The Chinese robotic probe Chang'e 4 has landed on the dark side of the Moon, becoming the first manmade craft to alight on the unexplored surface, according to reports from Chinese state media.

China Daily's tweet said: '"China's Chang'e 4 landed on the moon's far side, inaugurating a new chapter in mankind's lunar exploration history".

Success of the Chang'e 4 mission would mark the completion of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Programme (CLEP), one of 16 key technologies identified by the Chinese government.

Among the experiments are planting potatoes and other seeds.

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The Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang'e 4 blasted off on December 8 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern China.In May, a relay satellite "Queqiao", or "Magpie Bridge", named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang'e 4 and Earth.

While the terrain on the near side of the moon has many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is rugged and mountainous.

The move marks a step towards China's ambition to become a leading power in space exploration alongside the United States and Russian Federation.

The rover will also conduct mineral and radiation tests, the China National Space Administration said according to state news agency Xinhua.

In addition to home-grown scientific equipment, the Chang'e 4 mission also involves four scientific payloads developed by scientists from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

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