China broadcasts spacecraft pictures from moon's far side

China broadcasts spacecraft pictures from moon's far side

The lunar probe last week transmitted early images of its exploration on the far side, and the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) has now released the first panoramic shot of its landing site.

The pictures show a rocky surface with the jagged edges of craters in the background, which will pose a challenge for controllers in plotting the rover's travels, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

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.

China's Chang'e-4 probe and its rover Yutu-2, took photos of each other on Friday, marking a successful mission to the far side of the moon.

Video has been released showing the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, making a "soft landing" on the moon at 0226 GMT on January 3.

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.

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 mission also achieved the first relay communication from the far side of the moon to the Earth", said the note.

"Researchers have completed the preliminary analysis of the lunar surface topography around the landing site based on the image taken by the landing camera", the CNSA said in a statement.

The video, lasting about 12 minutes, shows the probe adjusted its altitude, hovered and avoided obstacles during the descent process. The Chinese mission was to land on the side of the moon that is never seen from earth due to the moon rotation, a phenomenon called "tidal locking".

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, Zhang Hongbo, chief designer of the ground application system, told state broadcaster CCTV. The basin is the largest and deepest impact crater in the solar system.

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