China National Space Administration releases a footage of the successful landing of probe Chang'e-4 on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3. The touchdown made the Asian country the first ever to have done so.
The 2:47-minute clip showed the slow approach of the lander to the ground, initially hovering over the surface and then suddenly tilting as the Chang'e-4 prepared for the touchdown. Fortunately, the mission made it safe to the surface of the Von Karman Crater, a 115-mile-wide area.
Details About Chang'e-4's Landing
The crater is also where Yutu-2, the rover released by Chang'e-4, will explore. Meanwhile, this was just another detail that trickled down as China's space agency, as others noted, has been secretive despite the feat.
The Chang'e-4 mission was part of the missions in moon that started 12 years ago with the Chang'e-1. The second was in 2010 and the third in 2013, when the lander reached the near side of the moon. Another one is reportedly set later this year.
A lot of experts were impressed with China's successful and historic touchdown, including Jim Bridenstine, a NASA administrator, who took to Twitter to congratulate the Asian space agency.
"This is a first for humanity and an impressive accomplishment!" he said.
Panoramic View Of The Far Side Of The Moon
A week and a day after, Chang'e-4 released a panoramic photo of the site, which was made with 80 images. The picture showed a 360-degree view of the gray surrounding, where a lot of craters can be seen.
The bumpy terrain can possibly make it hard for Yutu-2 to roam around. The craters, with one measuring 20 meters in diameter and with a depth of 4 meters, can pose as a challenge for the rover as well, Chang'e-4's commander-in-chief of the ground application system Li Chunlai said.
The probe left the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 7.