— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) January 3, 2019
For the first time, a probe has landed on the far side of the moon. The China National Space Administration has announced that the Chang’e 4 unmanned probe touched down on the lunar surface in the moon’s largest crater, known as the South Pole-Aitken basin.
The mission aims to take detailed measurements of the moon’s terrain and mineral composition. The Aitken basin is thought to have been formed during a gigantic collision very early in the moon’s history. The collision is likely to have thrown up material from the moon’s interior, meaning that Chang’e 4 could provide new clues as to how the natural satellite was formed.
The successful landing was touted as a “huge feather in China’s cap” by Malcolm Davis, senior analyst in defence strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
The Tweet above is the first image released by the CNSA taken from the crater’s surface. Read more about the accomplishment at The Guardian. NASA has more technical information about the Chang’e 4 probe. -via reddit