Thursday the spacecraft became the first ever to land on the far side of the moon. The unmanned spacecraft, the Chang’e 4, touched down at 10:26 a.m.
The far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is relatively unexplored. It is also known as the dark side of the moon.
The mission of Chang’e 4, which is carrying a rover, includes carrying out low-frequency radio astronomical observations and probing the structure and mineral composition of the terrain.
The Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang’e 4 blasted off on Dec. 8 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern China.
In May, a relay satellite “Queqiao,” or “Magpie Bridge,” named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang-e 4 and Earth.
China plans to send its Chang’e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples – the first time that will have been done since 1976.