"Unexplored!" --China Releases First Photos of Moon's Far Side


Pictures transmitted back show a rocky surface with the jagged edge of craters in the background, posing a challenge for controllers in plotting the rover's future travels, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Last week, China landed a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, something no country has ever done before.

"We chose a vertical descent strategy to avoid the influence of the mountains on the flight track", Zhang He, executive director of the Chang'e-4 project said in a statement.

The landing site is a smooth plain within the crater Von Kármán on the moon's dark side.

CLEP said: "The ground receiving image was clear and intact, the Chinese and foreign scientific loads were working normally, and the detection data was valid".

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.

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Chang'e-4 probe touched down on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin in the morning of January 3, and the lunar rover Yutu-2 drove onto the lunar surface late that night.

But the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) said that as of the morning of 11 January, the Yutu 2 rover, its lander and the relay satellite were all in a "stable condition".

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

"Afternoon nap is over, waking up and getting moving", the Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) posted on the Twitter-like Weibo. The deepest region on the Moon, where there is an altitude of minus 9,100 meters, is about 700 kilometers to the south of the probe. According to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), several of those instruments, which are collaborations between China and other governments, have already been turned on.

"The information from the depths of the moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration". Also, China plans to send probes to Mars following their success on the moon. 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.