China shows first images from far side of the moon

China moon rover Jade Rabbit,China moon rover,moon rover

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Pictures transmitted back show a rocky surface with the jagged edge of craters in the background, posing a challenge for controllers in plotting the rover's future travels, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

After making a soft landing on January 3 at 10:26 am, Chang'e 4 released a lunar rover to roam and survey its surroundings in the Von Karman crater, the moon's largest, oldest and deepest one, located in the South Pole-Aitken basin.

These images were sent back via the relay satellite Queqiao, which was operating around the second Lagrangian point of the earth-moon system, about 455,000 kilometers from earth, where it can see both celestial bodies.

China on Friday broadcast pictures taken by its rover and lander on the moon's far side, in what its space program hailed as another triumph for the groundbreaking mission to the less-understood sector of the lunar surface.

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Information can not be sent directly from the lunar far side to Earth - the moon's bulk gets in the way.

The mission, part of the country's ambitious space programme, is to study the moon's geology but also monitor for radio waves coming from deep space because the dark side is shielded from Earth's own radio signals.

Video has been released showing the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, making a "soft landing" on the moon at 0226 GMT on January 3.

The craters close to the rover - including one that was 20 meters wide (65 feet) with a depth of about four meters (13 feet) - will pose great challenges when planning its route, Li said.

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"The information from the depths of the moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", said Li.

CNSA also published some new panorama and 360-degree images taken by the lander. The Chang'e 4 is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid craters and uneven surfaces before it lands.

"From the video, we can see more dust was thrown up when the Chang'e-4 touched down on the far side of the moon compared with the landing of Chang'e-3, which indicates that the lunar dust at the landing area of Chang'e-4 is thicker than the region where Chang'e-3 landed", said Zhang Hongbo, chief designer of the ground application system of Chang'e-4.

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