China broadcasts pictures from far side of the moon

China has broadcast pictures taken by its rover and lander on the moon's far side. It's the first-ever soft landing on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth.

Broadcast by state televison channel CCTV, the pictures show the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and the Chang'e 4 spacecraft that transported it to the dark side of the moon.

Showing the rover moving away from its lander, officials with the China National Space Administration said they were evidence of a "total success" for the mission.

According to the Xinhua news agency one of the images is a 360-degree panorama stitched together from 80 photos taken by a camera on the lander, citing Chunlai Li, the deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatories of China and commander-in-chief of the Chang'e 4 ground application system.

CHINA-CHANG'E-LUNAR PROBE-PANORAMIC PHOTOS (CN)

"From the panorama, we can see the probe is surrounded by lots of small craters, which was really thrilling," Li said.

The Chinese space administration also released a 12-minute video of the spacecraft's landing, which can be seen below. The Chang'e 4 is shown adjusting its altitude, speed and pitch as it seeks to avoid craters and uneven surfaces before it lands.

The contoinuing mission will now see scientists look into the early days of the solar system and the birth of the universe's first stars. They are hoping that low-frequency observations of the cosmos taken from near the landing site will be aided by the lack of radio signal interference from the Earth.

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