It's another momentous day in the history of space exploration: the China National Space Administration (CNSA) has reportedly just landed its Chang'e-4 rover on the far side of the Moon, marking the first time we've been able to explore this hidden side of the lunar surface. The process was recorded by the camera on the lander and the images were sent back to the Earth via the relay satellite "Queqiao", the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced. At 10:26 am, January 3 Beijing time, China's Chang'e-4 spacecraft made a successful soft landing in the Von Kármán crater within the moon's South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin.
Chang'e-4 lunar probe mission - named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology - was the second Chinese probe to land on the moon following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.
However, the United States space agency later confirmed that the mission was carried out to determine whether the moon contain any traces of water. The far side can't be seen from Earth and is popularly called the "dark side" by some because it is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.More news: Caitlyn Jenner hasn't spoken to Khloe Kardashian in "five or six years"
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The news cheered people on the streets of Beijing on Friday, many of whom said it showed that China can now achieve or even surpass what the United States has done.
China started its lunar program in 2004 and in 2013 became the third country, behind the former Soviet Union and the US, to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon. Next year, Chang'e 5 should bring samples back from the moon, also a first since 1976, according to the Associated Press. Knowing the age and chemical composition of this crash zone would help understand Earth's ancient history better, said Purdue's Melosh.
Chang'e-4's static lander is carrying two cameras; a German-built radiation experiment called LND; and a spectrometer that will perform low-frequency radio astronomy observations.More news: NCAA Basketball: 2019 Las Vegas Invitational preview and predictions
"The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference of radio signals from Earth", mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to Xinhua.
The successful landing formally inaugurated the world's first expedition to the far side and is expected to fulfil scientists' long-held aspiration to closely observe the enormous region.
If the moon was formed from the same material as the Earth as many lunar scientists believe, studying the South Pole-Aitken basin could provide insights into the early Earth, de Grijs said.More news: Leonardo DiCaprio Accused of Orchestrating Amazon Fire by Brazilian President