Chinese rover powers up devices in pioneering moon mission:The Asahi Shimbun

Photos show Chinese rover making tracks on the far side of the moon

Chang'e-4 Probe Touches Down on Far Side of the Moon | Space Exploration

Previous moon landings, including Nasa's six manned missions from 1969...

The CNSA said that Yutu is a symbol of kindness, purity, and agility, and is identical to the moon rover in both outlook and connotation.

"On behalf of Roscosmos State Corporation and on my own behalf, I want to congratulate you and the entire team of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on the successful launch of the Chang'e-4 mission - the first soft landing on the far side of the moon in the history of mankind", Rogozin said in a letter of congratulation published at Roscosmos's website.

In this photo provided on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, Yutu-2, China's lunar rover, leaves wheel marks after leaving the lander that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon.

Like its predecessor, Yutu-2, capable of enduring vacuum pressure, intense radiation, and extreme temperatures is equipped with four scientific payloads, including a panoramic camera, infrared imaging spectrometer and radar measurement devices, to obtain images of the moon's surface and detect lunar soil and structure.

Chang'e 4's images and data come home via a relay satellite called Queqiao, which is parked at a gravitationally stable spot beyond the moon.

"It's just the far side, it can be either dark or light", Loeb said, depending on the time of day.

The far side has been observed many times from lunar orbits, but never explored on the surface.

The pioneering landing highlights China's ambitions to rival the U.S., Russian Federation and Europe in space. China has been trying to catch up with the United States and other nations in space exploration. It is popularly called the "dark side" because it can't be seen from Earth and is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.

Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon.

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