China broadcasts spacecraft pictures from moon's far side

China's lunar rover Yutu-2 or Jade Rabbit 2 rolling onto the far side of the moon taken by the Chang'e-4 lunar probe is seen in this image provided by China National Space Administrati

China's Chang'e-4 probe took panoramic photos on the lunar surface after it successfully made the first ever soft-landing on the far side of the moon.

CNSA is using a relay satellite to send data back to Earth as the lander and rover survey the landscape and study the geology of the area.

A camera deployed on Chang'e-4 took a photo that was released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) today.

"From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling", Li said.

China's Jade Rabbit-2 rover awoke from its extended nap on the moon on Thursday, taking to social media to inform space enthusiasts that it's headed back to work after its five-day hibernation.

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.

A Chinese lunar probe, which landed on the far side of the Moon earlier in January this year, has sent first panoramic image of the Moon's dark side.

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He said the Chang'e-4 landed at an altitude of almost minus 6,000 metres.

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

"Researchers have completed the preliminary analysis of the lunar surface topography around the landing site based on the image taken by the landing camera", the CNSA said in a statement. The probe is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid obstacles on the ground.

"The thicker dust shows that the lunar regolith in the region has undergone longer space weathering, which also gives strong evidence of the region being older".

The Chang'e 4 lander, as seen by the Yutu 2 rover. It always faces the earth with the same side, and the far side was a mystery before the age of spacecraft. The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side - or the "dark side" - is never visible from Earth.

The program has achieved five consecutive accomplishments, said CNSA, referring to Chang'e-1, Chang'e-2, Chang'e-3, a test craft for Chang'e-5 and Chang'e-4.

The message, a reference to a past Chinese office tradition, was quickly met with joy as several netizens wished the rover luck on it endeavors on the far side of the moon. And the SPA Basin might be an impact from that period.

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