China Reveals Detailed Photo of the Far Side of the Moon

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The Chang'e 4 spacecraft - the first ever to land on the far side of the moon, released landing footage and panoramic pictures on Friday.

It is the first time a soft landing has been performed on the Moon's far side - also known as the dark side because it faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown - due to challenges relaying signals. It has successfully rolled out onto the surface, becoming the first robot to ever be on the Moon's far side.

The rover, which had been put in "standby" mode to protect it from the Sun's heat, was then switched on and, along with the Chang'e-4 probe, took pictures of the landing site and its surroundings.

The Jade Rabbit 2 rover shows off with its moon tracks in this image snapped by the Chang'e 4 lunar lander.

The panorama taken from the Chang'e 4 lander at its perch in Von Karman Crater and stitched together as a full-circle view.

A camera deployed on Chang'e-4 took a photo that was released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) today. The rugged terrain will pose great challenges for planning the route of the rover, said Li.

The pictures were transmitted by a relay satellite to a control centre in Beijing, although it wasn't immediately clear when they were taken.

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He said the Chang'e-4 landed at an altitude of almost minus 6,000 meters. They are starting to gather observations on the lunar far side and should send science data back within the next few weeks, according to CNSA.

The deepest region on the moon, with a depth of 9,100 meters (5.7 miles), is about 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the south of the probe, Li said.

The moon's surface on this side is thicker and more pitted than the familiar earth facing side.

"The information from the depths of the moon will be one of our focuses in the exploration", he said.

"Researchers have completed the preliminary analysis of the lunar surface topography around the landing site based on the image taken by the landing camera", the CNSA said in a statement. "And this marks one of the milestone events of building a strong space nation", chief designer for the lunar mission, Wu Weiren, told CCTV.

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