First in history to touch the lunar surface unseen by those on Earth: China’s Chang’e-4 probe softlands on Moon’s far side

the far side of the moon
Chang’e-4 lunar probe

CNBC Wed 2 January, 2019
technical challenge to land on Moon’s far side: no direct way to communicate with the spacecraft
China makes history as the first to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The Chang’e 4 mission launched in early December. It took the spacecraft three days to travel to the moon, where it spent the last few weeks in orbit preparing for touch down on the Von Karman crater. The crater is a relatively flat spot on the moon’s far side.
Landing on the far side is a technical challenge, as there is no direct way to communicate with the spacecraft as it nears its target.

China successfully landed the Chang’e 4 spacecraft on the far side of the moon on Thursday morning, Beijing time, according to state news agency Xinhua, becoming the first in history to touch the lunar surface unseen by those on Earth.

Xinhua 2019-01-03 12:15:36
the first spacecraft soft-landing on the moon’s uncharted side
Jan. 3, 2019. China’s Chang’e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon Thursday, becoming the first spacecraft soft-landing on the moon’s uncharted side never visible from Earth. The probe, comprising of a lander and a rover, landed at the preselected landing area on the far side of the moon at 10:26 a.m. Beijing Time (0226 GMT), the China National Space Administration announced.

CNBC Friday 7 December, 2018
China launches lunar rover in historic mission to the far side of the moon
China launched the Chang’e 4 spacecraft atop a Long March 3B rocket on Friday in a milestone mission to land a rover on the far side of the moon.

While the dark side of the moon has been seen and mapped before, the successful landing of Chang’e 4 would represent the first time any spacecraft has touched down there. The mission is part of China’s heavy investment in lunar exploration and growing capabilities in space through the China National Space Administration.

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Image courtesy CNBC, NEWS.CN, and VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

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