China’s space programme made history this morning when its Chang’e 4 lunar spacecraft successfully touched down on the moon’s far side, which has never been explored.

The lunar lander and rover spacecraft completed the world’s first soft-landing on the uncharted far side at 10.26am Hong Kong time, near the moon’s south pole, before taking the first photograph of that part of the moon.

Chang’e 4 was launched atop a Long March 3B carrier rocket on December 8 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan province. It entered lunar orbit four days later.

The vehicle carries a suite of instruments designed to help record and define the region’s geology as well as equipment to conduct biological experiments.

China National Space Administration has said that Chang’e 4’s scientific tasks included astronomical observation using low-frequency radio; surveying the terrain and land forms; detecting the mineral composition and shallow lunar surface structure; and measuring neutron radiation and neutral atoms – all to develop an understanding of the environment on the moon’s far side, also called the dark side. .. see more