China declares Chang’e-4 mission complete success
Beijing: China announced on Friday that the Chang’e-4 mission, which realised the first-ever soft-landing on the far side of the moon, was a complete success.
With the assistance of the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2) and the lander of the Chang’e-4 probe took photos of each other, reports Xinhua news agency.
The scientific instruments aboard the probe worked well and the images taken by the probe and the detection data have been sent back to ground control, said the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
At 4.47 p.m. on Friday, the images of the lander and the rover appeared on a large screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre, showing the Chinese national flag on both the lander and the rover with the desolate landscape dotted with craters on the far side of the moon as the background.
Chang’e-4 probe touched down at the pre-selected landing area at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south latitude in the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the far side of the moon on January 3, and the rover drove onto the lunar surface late that night.
Named after Chinese moon goddess “Chang’e”, China’s lunar exploration programme, which began in 2004, includes orbiting and landing on the moon and bringing samples back to Earth.
The programme has achieved five continuous successes, said CNSA, referring to Chang’e-1, Chang’e-2, Chang’e-3, a test craft for Chang’e-5 and Chang’e-4.