China Lunar Rover Touches Down On Far Side Of The Moon

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China Lunar Rover Touches Down On Far Side Of The Moon

In a historic first, China has landed a rover on the far side of the moon, state media announced Thursday, a huge milestone for the nation as it attempts to position itself as a leading space power. The rover – named Yutu 2, or Jade Rabbit 2 – left the spacecraft, drove off a ramp and began making tracks on the moon’s surface at 10.22pm on Thursday, about 12 hours after Chang’e 4 landed.

China's National Space Administration landed the rover at 10:26 a.m. Beijing time in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the moon's largest and oldest impact crater, China Central Television reported.It made its final descent from an elliptical orbit 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) above the moon's surface, making a 'smooth' and 'precise' landing, according to the general designer of the probe Chang'e 4, Sun Zezhou, who added that the spacecraft pulled off a 'bull's-eye.'

After the successful landing, experts verified the conditions of “Queqiao”, meaning Magpie Bridge, which was launched in May of 2018 to set up the communication link between the Earth and the moon’s far side.They also verified the environment parameter of the landing area, the conditions of the probe’s equipment as well as the angle of incoming sunshine to make preparations for the separation of the lander and rover.