China begins first surface exploration of moon’s far side


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. The ground control has been receiving geographic and geomorphic images of the moon's far side.

Leaving two tracks in the soft lunar surface, the slow roll of Jade Rabbit 2 on to the far side of the moon was a relatively small step in the long voyage of the Chinese rover.

China, after the Soviet Union and the United States, is the third country that has managed to bring a vehicle to the moon, but it has become the first to do so on the invisible side of the Earth's satellite.

The new images show the craft's rover, called Yutu 2, beginning to move across the lunar surface.

In the coming months, the lander-rover will conduct scientific observations across the less-understood side of the moon. With the help of ground-penetrating radar, it will allow scientists to study the moon's mysterious "dark side", how its surface interacts with solar wind, and perhaps the process behind the formation of lunar water. Instead of finding a collection of record players spinning Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon backwards, the probe sent back a photograph of a desolate rocky surface pitted with a single crater, said to be the oldest and deepest on the moon. Rover designer Shen Zhenrong of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation told CCTV.

China was the first to complete a "soft landing", without damage, on the far side of the moon.

In another extreme hurdle, during the lunar night - which lasts 14 Earth days - temperatures drop to as low as minus 173 degrees Celsius (minus 279 Fahrenheit).

As announced by the CNSA, the Jadehase 2 robotic vehicle will explore the Moon's geological composition and make biological experiments. It also reflects China's peaceful use of space. China's increasing interest in space exploration also includes plans to operate a third space station, send astronauts to the moon, and get a probe out to Mars, The New York Times reports.