A Chinese spacecraft has become the first ever to land on the far side of the moon, making a giant leap for human space exploration, state-run media reported Thursday. Chang’e 4, a robotic probe, has sent back the firs shot of the unexplored South Pole-Aitken basin, the largest, oldest, deepest, crater on the moon’s surface. The mission aims to take detailed measurements of the moon’s terrain and mineral composition. The Aitken basin is thought to have been formed during a gigantic collision very early in the moon’s history. The collision is likely to have thrown up material from the moon’s interior, meaning that Chang’e 4 could provide new clues as to how the moon was formed.
With no direct communications link possible from the “dark” side of the moon, all pictures and data are first sent to a separate satellite and then relayed from there to earth.