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In a first, China's lunar rover lands on far side of moon

ANI  |  Beijing [China] 

China's Chang'e-4 spacecraft created history on Thursday as the rover successfully touched down in a crater on the far side of the moon, the country's state media said.

The Chang'e 4 lunar probe landed at about 10:26 am (local time) in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, which is an impact crater. The rover made its historic final descent from a landing orbit 15 km above the surface of the moon, CNN reported quoting China Central Television (CCTV).

The far side of the moon is the part that never faces the earth because of the moon's rotation.

Prior to the landing, the state outlets China Daily and China Global Television Network (CGTN) had earlier tweeted that Chang'e-4 spacecraft touched down and then pulling down the posts after some time. There was no clarification as to why the tweets were pulled down.

The Chang's-4 lunar probe took off on the early morning hours of December 8 last year to explore the far side of the moon from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province in southern China. It would provide a first close-up of the part of the moon that is eternally out of view from the Earth.

Chang'e 4, which means goddess of the moon in Chinese mythology, comprises two parts-the mainlander weighing about 2,400 pounds and a 300-pound rover.

The lunar rover will study the structure of the rocks and the effects of the solar wind striking the moon's surface. It will also test the ability to make radio astronomy observations from the moon's far side, sans the noise effects from Earth.

The instruments on the rover and lander consist of special cameras, ground-penetrating radar and spectrometers to help ascertain the composition of rocks and dirt on the back side of the moon.

The moon spacecraft will also be conducting a fascinating biology experiment to check whether plant seeds will develop and silkworm eggs will hatch on the low gravity of the moon, according to Xinhua.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 03 2019. 11:28 IST