China Makes History Becoming First Country to Land on the Far Side of the Moon

Here's the first image of the surface of the far side of the moon.

China’s Change’4 spacecraft has successfully touched down on the surface of the moon in a historic landing that saw the Asian superpower become the first country int he history to perform a soft landing on the lunar surface successfully.

According to the  China National Space Administration (CNSA), their lunar rover has sent back the first close-up image of the previously unexplored side of the moon.

“There’s a lot of geopolitics or astropolitics about this; it’s not just a scientific mission, this is all about China’s rise as a superpower. There’s a lot of enthusiasm for the space program in China. There’s a lot of nationalism in China, they see China’s role in space as a key part of their rise,” explained Malcolm Davis, senior analyst with Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

The first image of the moon's far side snapped by China's Chang'e 4 probe, which touched down on he far side of the moon on Jan. 2, 2019 (Jan. 3 Beijing time). Image Credit: CNSA.
The first image of the moon’s far side snapped by China’s Chang’e 4 probe, which touched down on he far side of the moon on Jan. 2, 2019 (Jan. 3 Beijing time).
Image Credit: CNSA.

“It is highly likely that with the success of Chang’e — and the concurrent success of the human spaceflight Shenzhou program — the two programs will eventually be combined toward a Chinese human spaceflight program to the Moon. Odds of the next voice transmission from the Moon being in Mandarin are high,” said US Naval War College professor, Joan Johnson-Freese, in an interview with Gizmodo.

As explained by the Xinhua News Agency (a state media network), the Agency’s Chang’e 4 probe launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province on a Long March-3B carrier rocket on Dec. 8, 2018.

It has orbited the Moon since Dec. 12.

Now, it has subequally delivered both a lander and a rover, while its Queqiao (Magpie Bridge) relay satellite “is operating in the halo orbit around the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the Earth-Moon system,” Xinhua explained.

CGTN posted an image which the network said was the “world’s first close shot of [the] moon’s far side.”
There has been some confusion about the landing though, and whether or not it occurred.
This is because China Daily and CGTN deleted tweets celebrating the accomplishment after having published the news on Twitter.
However, as per the Guardian, other Chinese Media, as well as the state-run China Central Television and the Communist Party of China-owned Global Times later confirmed Chang’e 4 had successfully touched down on the far side of the moon.

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