Chinese Rover Make First-Ever Landing on Far Side of Moon
BEIJING -- China has successfully landed a lunar rover on the far side of the moon and sent a photo of the surface back to earth, Chinese state media reported Thursday.
The rover, officially named Chang'e 4, landed in the South Pole-Aitkin Basin, the moon's largest and oldest impact crater, according to China Central Television.
The rover is the first spacecraft to touch down on the far side of the moon.
The far side of the moon never faces the earth due to the moon's rotation and, as a result, has no radio frequencies or electromagnetic interference. To communicate with the rover, China is using a satellite it launched into lunar orbit earlier this year.
Chang'e 4 will perform research missions and experiments to learn more about the moon's surface and geography.
The rover is one of several ambitious plans China has for its space program. The nation hopes to land a probe on Mars in 2020 and have a fully operational space station by 2022.
(Xinhua/Xinhua via Getty Images)