China’s Chang’e-4 probe successfully made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon
China says it has successfully landed a robotic spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, the first ever such attempt and landing.
At 10:26 Beijing time (02:26 GMT), the unmanned Chang’e-4 probe touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, state media said.
It is carrying instruments to characterise the region’s geology, as well as a biological experiment.
While past missions have been to the Earth-facing side, this is the first time a craft has landed on the unexplored far side.
The probe has sent some first pictures from the surface. With no direct communications link possible, all pictures and data are first sent to a separate satellite and then relayed from there
In recent days, the Chang’e-4 spacecraft had lowered its orbit in preparation for landing.
At the weekend, Chinese state media said the probe had entered an elliptical path around the Moon, bringing the vehicles to within 15km (9 miles) of the lunar surface at its closest point.