China lunar rover successfully touches down on far side of the moon, state media announces

The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe.

China successfully landed its Chang’e 4 probe and lunar rover on the far side of the moon, marking the first time a spacecraft has touched down on the part of the moon that always faces away from the Earth, China state media announced Thursday.

The Chang’e 4 landed at 10:26 a.m. Beijing time at the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the moon’s largest and oldest impact crater, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

The probe sent back its first photo just over an hour later, showing a small crater illuminated by the spacecraft.

A lack of radio signals on the far side, or dark side, of the moon means Earth can’t directly communicate with the lunar probe, so China launched a relay satellite in May.

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