Rover and lander as small spots on the lunar surface.

China's Chang'e 4 lander and rover as seen by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

China's Chang'e 4 was the first mission to land on the far side of the Moon. The lander and rover communicate with Earth via the Queqiao relay satellite.

The lander and rover landing touched down in Von Kármán crater on Jan. 3, 2019. The crater floor is covered by eruptions of basaltic lava, similar to the eruptions in Hawaii in the summer of 2018.

Chang'e 4 will collect compositional measurements of these farside basaltic rocks. Scientists are eager to see if volcanic rocks on the lunar far side differ from those collected by astronauts on the near side of the Moon.

Launch Date Dec. 7, 2018 | 18:23 UTC
Launch Site Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan, China
Science Target Earth's Moon
Type Lander, Rover
Status Primary Mission in Progress
Agency China National Space Administration (CNSA)
Alternate Names N/A

Sources

Solar System News