Video of Chang'e-4's successful touchdown on moon

Cristina Cross
January 12, 2019

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, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The landing site is a smooth plain within the crater Von Kármán on the moon's dark side.

China just shared an image captured by its Chang'e 4 lunar lander, and it's a detailed image of the far side of the moon.

In a press release, CNSA said their Chang'e 4 mission was a success, and thanked "significant worldwide cooperation", for their major space milestone. They are starting to gather observations on the lunar far side and should send science data back within the next few weeks, according to CNSA. The other face, most of which can not be seen from Earth, is called the far side or dark side of the Moon, not because it is dark, but because most of it is uncharted.

Humanity has sent dozens of probes to the near side of the moon, however, Chang'e 4 is the first spacecraft to reach the far side, which is more hard due to communication problems stemming from the fact that an entire relay system is necessary in order to pass messages to mission control.

Temperatures were expected to reach up to 200 degrees Celsius, but authorities from the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) said that the Yutu 2 rover, the lander and its relay satellite all survived the heat blast safely.

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"From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling", Li said.

Unlike the near side of the moon that offers many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is mountainous and rugged.

Li said that one of the craters close to the rover Yutu-2 has a diameter of about 20 meters and a depth of about 4 meters.

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

"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, made up of more than 4,700 images taken by an onboard camera. The Chang'e 4 is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid craters and uneven surfaces before it lands.

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