China successfully put a lander and rover combo onto the surface of the moon becoming the first nation to explore the far side of the moon from its surface. China shared the first images taken from the far side of the moon earlier this month. Now China has shared video footage of the landing of Chang’e 4 showing the first time that man put a vehicle on to the lunar far side.
The video footage, seen below, is black and white and gives a view of the landscape of the lunar far side that starts far away and difficult to see in detail. The surface comes into sharp view when the spacecraft gets closer and begins its final descent.
The video spans about three minutes and was captured by a camera that can pivot for more range. The landing zone the Chinese chose for the lander and rover to explore is the Von Karaman crater. In the end, the motors of the spacecraft throw up lots of dust, and it sticks the landing.
Chang’e 4 has two main components with the stationary lander that sits on the surface and a six-wheeled rover that cruises the surface called Yutu 2. China put a lander and rover onto the lunar nearside back in 2013, that rover was called Yutu.
Since the lunar far side never faces the Earth, China had to send a satellite to relay messages to Earth from the Rover. The lander and rover pair in Chang’e 4 carry eight scientific instruments between them meant to characterize the surface and near subsurface of the crater. One key that scientists are hoping to answer with this mission is why the lunar far side is so different from the lunar nearside surface.