China’s Chang’e 4 Probe Makes Historic Landing on the Far Side of the Moon

Image credit: China National Space Administration

China’s Chang’e 4 probe successfully landed on the far side of the Moon on Thursday, January 3, at 10:26 am (Beijing time). This is the first mission to land on the far side of the Moon to explore this uncharted area. The landing site is inside the 180-km-diameter Von Kármán crater, which is located within the 12-km-deep South Pole-Aitken basin. Chang’e 4 and its rover, named “Yutu-2,” carry many scientific instruments selected to characterize the surface and subsurface in Von Kármán crater. As the far side of the Moon never faces Earth, direct communication from Earth to Chang’e 4 is not possible. Chang’e 4 communicates via the Queqiao relay satellite, which is in lunar L-2 orbit.

For more information, visit: