China’s Chang’e 4 mission has successfully landed on the far side of the moon, becoming the first spacecraft in the history of mankind to do so.
Everything went according to plan, and Chang’e 4 successfully performed a soft landing on the far side moon.
Now, the Chinese have reported they have successfully deployed their lunar rover on the surface.
Chang’e 4 touched down on the lunar surface at down at 10.26 am local time (2.26am GMT), according to state media. Soon after landing on the far side, it beamed back the first ever image of the unexplored region of the moon.
Then, the Change’4 lander released its rover, Yutu-2 which has been tasked to explore a region of the moon that never ever been explored by a manned rover.
One of the main mission objectives of the Chang’e 4 mission is to explore the famous Von Karman crater, located in the Aitken basin, which is the largest impact crater in our solar system.
The Aitken Basin is eight miles deep and has around 1,600 miles in diameter.
The Chinese mission will also perform mineral and radiation tests and will offer an unprecedented opportunity for scientists to examine minerals located on the far side of the moon.
The mission is set to use soil tests and temperature measurements to reveal new details about the moon, and the cataclysmic collision that created Earth’s natural satellite.
It will also attempt and uncover the origin of water unexpectedly abundant in lunar soil.
The Chang’e 4 lander also carries a miniature greenhouse experiment. It will test how plants, specifically potatoes, as well as flowering Arabidopsis plants, related to cabbage, grow on the moon. The lander also holds silkworm eggs.
The mission is of great importance.
Since the moon is tidally locked to Earth, as the moon rotates, we from Earth only see one side of the moon, with the far-side remaining unobservable.
In the past, lunar missions have ‘seen’ the far side of the moon, however, never has a mission attempted to land on the far side.
That’s of course until China decided to do it first, and launched the Chang’e-4 probe on December 7, 2018, using a Long March-3B rocket.