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Launched on Dec 8 a year ago, the Chang'e-4 lunar probe, comprising the lander and the rover, landed on the far side of the Moon on Thursday morning.

Lunar rover Yutu-2 has been driving on the far side of the moon after separating from the lander and scientific devices on both the lander and rover are now gathering data, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said late Friday.

"We are pleased that the power equipment of the Chang'e-4 mission is supplied by radioisotope sources of electricity produced in Russian Federation", he said.

The rover touched the lunar surface at 22:22 Beijing time (14:22 GMT), about 12 hours after the landing. After receiving the order, Yutu-2, atop the probe, extended its solar panel, stretched out its mast and started to drive slowly to the transfer mechanism, said the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre.

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.

This close-up photo taken by the Chang'e-4 probe shows the far side of the Moon.

The Chinese rover has six powered wheels, allowing it to continue to operate even if one wheel fails. The vehicle can slant up to 20 degrees and overcome obstacles up to 20 centimeters in size.

Melosh traces the myth back to a Walt Disney television special in 1955 that talked about it always being dark on the other side of the moon and futuristic astronauts dropping flares.

China plans to send its Chang'e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples - the first time that will have been done since 1976. Its success provided a major boost to China's space program.

Both Yutu 2 and the lander sport four science instruments, which they'll use to study the surrounding dirt and rocks and probe the far side's subsurface. The far side can't be seen from earth, and its surface has never been observed up close. Chang'e-4 can't communicate directly with mission scientists back on Earth.


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