On Wednesday night (Jan. 2), the Chang'e 4 rover and its stationary-lander companion pulled off the first-ever soft touchdown on the lunar far side, coming to a rest inside the 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater.
It is the second Chinese spacecraft to land on the only natural satellite of our planet, following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.
It then released a rover, named Yutu-2, which rolled out onto the surface down a ramp.More news: Season 2 of the wonderful Killing Eve will be released in April
The Moon's far side is also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown, with a different composition from sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed.
The new images show the craft's rover, called Yutu 2, beginning to move across the lunar surface.
Both Yutu 2 and the lander sport four science instruments, which they'll use to study the surrounding dirt and rocks and probe the far side's subsurface.More news: UGA QB Justin Fields transferring to Ohio State
China's mission is to learn more about the little-understood region of the moon and compete with the USA and Russian Federation as a powerhouse of space exploration. "And it is what our generation and the next generation are supposed to do", said Chang'e-4 chief designer Dr. Wu Weiren, of China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The Jade Rabbit 2 rover has six wheels and a maximum speed of 220 yards per hour.
The Chang'e-4 lunar probe was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China on December 8, 2018, and entered orbit around the Moon five days later. It has a maximum speed of 0.1 miles per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or mount an obstacle up to 8 inches tall, the report said. The first human-made object to hit the far side was NASA's Ranger 4 craft in 1964; it crashed after a system failure.More news: Randhir Kapoor finally breaks silence on Rishi Kapoor's health