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Video of Chang'e-4's successful touchdown on moon

Video of Chang'e-4's successful touchdown on moon

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.

The mission, part of the country's ambitious space programme, is to study the moon's geology but also monitor for radio waves coming from deep space because the dark side is shielded from Earth's own radio signals. This is the first mission ever that aims to explore the Moon's far side from the surface.

One of the published images is a 360-degree panorama which was pieced together from 80 photos taken by a camera on the lander after the rover drove onto the lunar surface, according to Li Chunlai, deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatories of China and commander-in-chief of the ground application system of Chang'e-4.

Humanity has sent dozens of probes to the near side of the moon, however, Chang'e 4 is the first spacecraft to reach the far side, which is more hard due to communication problems stemming from the fact that an entire relay system is necessary in order to pass messages to mission control.

Showing the rover moving away from its lander, officials with the China National Space Administration said they marked a "total success" for the mission.

Temperatures were expected to reach up to 200 degrees Celsius, but authorities from the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) said that the Yutu 2 rover, the lander and its relay satellite all survived the heat blast safely.

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He said the Chang'e-4 landed at an altitude of almost minus 6,000 meters.

Because the far side faces away from Earth, it is also shielded from radio transmissions - making it the flawless place from where to study the universe.

As a result of the tidal locking effect, the moon's revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle.

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

"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. "We will conduct comparative research between the landing areas of Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4", Li said.

Wu Weiren, CLEP's chief designer, added that "it was a great challenge with the short time, high difficulty and risks".