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Context :

  • China’s Chang’e-4 probe has successfully landed on the far side of the moon. 
  • While past missions have been to the Earth-facing side, this is the first time ever a spacecraft has landed on the unexplored far side of the moon. 
  • The probe is carrying instruments to characterise the region’s geology. 

Chang’e-4 Mission :

  • Chang’e-4 named after a Chinese moon goddess and comprising a lander and a rover, touched down at the preselected landing area on the far side of the moon.
  • The lunar explorer landed on the far side of the moon and has already sent back its first pictures from the surface.
  • The robotic spacecraft is carrying instruments to analyse the unexplored region’s geology and will conduct biological experiments.
  • The probe was launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket on December 8 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan Province.
  • It landed on the Von Karman crater in the South Pole-Aitken basin and then sent back a picture of the landing site shot by one of the monitor cameras on the probe’s lander, marking the world’s first image taken on the moon’s far side.
  • The scientific tasks of the Chang’e-4 mission include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon.
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