Little is known about the far side of the moon as it always faces away from Earth preventing study using Earth-based telescopes. What is known about the lunar far side is that it is very different from the near side of the moon that the US put men on during the Apollo era. China successfully placed a lander and rover on the far side of the moon with its Chang’e-4 lander.
Riding aboard that lander was the Yutu-2 rover that has now rolled off its lander base for the first time. China has shared images of the rover leaving its first tracks on the lunar surface. One of the photos of Yutu-2 shows the unique wheel design that the rover sports.
These wheels aren’t pneumatic like tires on your car; instead, they are made using a metal frame and mesh rolling surface. The images of the rover are very clear despite being beamed back to Earth via a relay satellite from the moon.
China also shared some images of what the far side of the moon looks like taken by the Chang’e-4 probe. Two of the pictures are black and white, with one of them appearing to be color. The surface of the landing site that China chose is surprisingly smooth compared to images we have seen of the landing site NASA chose for its first moon mission.
The Chang’e-4 mission launched in December 2018 and touched down on the lunar surface this month. The Chinese mission seems to be going flawlessly so far, data will continue to come in for the remainder of the mission, and we hope China continues to share its data.