On January 2nd, China became the first country to land a spacecraft on theMoon ’s far side (not the dark side) when its Chang’e-4 probe gently touched down the surface. Now, China ’s space agency has released footage of the landing.
The short video shows the robotic lander flying over the surface of the moon before abruptly tilting to descend (hovering at one point), before safely touching down in its new home, the Von Kármán crater. There, the lander released a rover, Yutu-2, which will explore the area around the lander.
Picture of the Chang’e 4 lander (above) taken by the rover’s camera.
A picture of the Yutu 2 rover taken by the Chang’e 4 lander camera.
The two Explorers have started sending back images and videos of their adventures through a relay satellite positioned with a line of sight to both Earth and the lander.
The Yutu 2 rover carries potato and Arabidopsis plant seeds enclosed in a mini biosphere,which will be used by biologists to see how plants breath and use photosynthesis while on the Moon .
The far side (or dark side) is located on the side of the Moon that never faces Earth. It is an intriguing region which no rover has ever landed on. The near side is what we see on earth as well as the region where the US NASA’s manned and unmanned spacecrafts landed on between 1959 and 1972.
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