China released footage of Chang'e-4 lunar probe's touchdown on the far side of the moon and photos of the lander and rover, state media reported on Friday (January 11). Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the moon, but nobody had ever landed on it before.
A rover dubbed Yutu-2 - or Jade Rabbit, the name of the moon goddess's pet - successfully separated from the lander and drove onto the moon's surface about eight hours after landing.
Humanity has sent dozens of probes to the near side of the moon, however, Chang'e 4 is the first spacecraft to reach the far side, which is more hard due to communication problems stemming from the fact that an entire relay system is necessary in order to pass messages to mission control.
The probe, comprised of a lander and a rover, touched down at the preselected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude in the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the far side of the moon on January 3.
The pictures were transmitted by a relay satellite to a control centre in Beijing, although it was not immediately clear when they were taken.
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.
The space administration also released a 12-minute video of Chang'e 4's landing utilizing more than 4,700 images taken by an on-board camera. Since the Moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, the same side always faces Earth. "We will conduct comparative research between the landing areas of Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4", Li said. Its first unprocessed images made the moon look quite reddish, but the familiar gray of the moon is clearly seen in the exciting panorama shot. "And this marks one of the milestone events of building a strong space nation", chief designer for the lunar mission, Wu Weiren, told CCTV. The basin is the largest and deepest impact crater in the solar system.