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China lands on the far side of the Moon

Chang’e 4 became the first mission to make a soft landing on the far side of the Moon.

The first close-up image of the Moon’s far side

Chang’e 4 became the first mission to make a soft landing on the far side of the Moon on 3 January 2019. The aim of Chang’e 4 is to determine the age and composition of an unexplored region of the Moon and to develop technologies required for the later stages of the programme.

The Chinese mission Chang’e 4 consists of a Moon lander and a rover. It is the fourth of the Chinese lunar exploration programmes, the first and second of which orbited the Moon, and the third landed on the near side in 2013.

On the very large crater, called the Aitken Basin, is where Chang’e 4 landed. The crater is about 13 km deep, and it is thought likely that the massive impactor exposed the deep lunar crust and probably the mantle materials. If Chang'e 4 can find and study some of this material, it would derive an unprecedented insight into the Moon's internal structure and origins.

Alter Technology tested and supplied some of the electronic components on board this mission.