China has successfully performed the first-ever landing on the dark side of the moon. The Chang’e 4 spacecraft performed a soft-landing in the Von Kármán crate on January 2, 2019, which forms part of the South Pole-Aitken basin, one of the biggest known impact structures in our solar system.
According to the China National Space Administration, they have already received images of the unexplored hemisphere of the moon, sent via a relay satellite called Queqiao, which has been orbiting the lunar region since June 2018.
The chosen landing site will provide scientists with greater insight and understanding into the moon’s radiation as well as how the moon came to exist. Exploration and radio-astronomical studies are on the agenda for the lander-rover combination probe.
The Chang’e 4 is the mainstay for future lunar missions, which the Chinese space program has scheduled for 2020 and beyond. The success of the landing moves China ever closer to their goal of establishing a research base on the dark side of the lunar surface.