The landing showed China's space program had achieved the technological capability required for a tricky project, said Richard de Grijs, an astrophysics professor who was until past year based at Peking University's Kavli Institute. According to NASA, the South Pole-Aitken basin is a massive impact crater located on the moon's far side that is "the largest and oldest recognized impact basin on the moon".
The China National Space Administration said the 10:26 a.m. touchdown of the Chang'e 4 craft has "opened up a new chapter in human lunar exploration". The Chang'e-5 mission will have sample returns from the near side of the Moon.
Chang'e 4 will perform several experiments while on the moon, including testing whether plants will grow in the low gravity environment, exploring the poles to find water or other resources, observing the interaction between solar winds and the lunar surface, and conducting the first lunar low-frequency radio astronomy experiment.
"Scientists believe that the back of the moon is more ancient than the front", CNSA explains (via translation). Practically, this meant Chang'e 4 was on its own as it descended to the surface with its important scientific payload, on a side of the moon marked by rugged terrain. The Chinese needed to launch a separate satellite to relay signals back to mission control. Everything appears to be working smoothly, which is great news for astronomers, and we can likely expect plenty of Moon news out of China in the coming weeks.
Three nations - the United States, the former Soviet Union, and more recently China - have sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which faces Earth, but this landing is the first-ever on the far side. Its name comes from that of a Chinese goddess who, according to legend, has lived on the moon for millennia.
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After the successful landing, experts verified the conditions of "Queqiao", meaning Magpie Bridge, which was launched in May of 2018 to set up the communication link between the Earth and the moon's far side.
Today's successful landing of the Chang'e-4 probe is being hailed as a major milestone in China's mission to rival the United States and Russian Federation in the field of space exploration. On the left is the edge of the lander's body, while to the right part of the lander's leg, as well as its foot pad, which has partially sunk into the lunar regolith.
Some analysts observing the Chinese moon mission have suggested this landing location on the moon could become a refueling station for future spacecraft tasked with deep-space exploration. "And we're gradually realizing it".