China’s probe sends panoramic image of moon’s far side

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 11, 2019

"They have reached the predetermined engineering goals, right now they are getting into the stage of scientific searches", Zhang Kejian, director of the China National Space Administration, said before engineers at the Beijing centre.

China has broadcast pictures taken by its rover and lander on the moon's far side.

"From the panorama, we could see the probe was surrounded by many small craters".

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

The lander succeeded in its first task of deploying its rover - named Yutu-2 - which has started exploring the Moon's Von Karman crater. The probe is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid obstacles on the ground.

Compared with the landing site of Chang'e-3, which was sent to the Sinus Iridum, or the Bay of Rainbows, on the moon's near side, fewer rocks can be found in the area surrounding Chang'e-4, indicating the landing area of Chang'e-4 might be older, said Li.

Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the flawless place from where to study the universe.

This is the first time an attempt was made to explore the far side of the Moon. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon, but nobody had ever landed on it before.

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 radioisotope heat source, a collaboration between Chinese and Russian scientists, will support the probe through the lunar night, when the temperature falls to about minus 180 degrees Celsius.

China's Jade Rabbit-2 rover awoke from its extended nap on the moon on Thursday, taking to social media to inform space enthusiasts that it's headed back to work after its five-day hibernation.

The CNSA on Friday released several images taken by the Chang'e-4 probe transmitted back via the relay satellite Queqiao. The participating countries will share the costs, risks and achievements, and learn from each other.

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