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China and NASA Share Moon Landing Data

16 January 2019

China announced earlier this month that it had achieved the first ever landing on the far side of the moon.

China will seek to establish an worldwide lunar base one day, possibly using 3D printing technology to build facilities, the Chinese space agency said Monday, weeks after landing a rover on the moon's far side. That image was taken prior to Chang'e 4's touchdown, explained LROC principal investigator Mark Robinson, who's based at Arizona State University in Tempe. It captured footage of the descent towards the surface with a camera which was attached to the probe.

China successfully put a lander and rover combo onto the surface of the moon becoming the first nation to explore the far side of the moon from its surface. Soon thereafter, a color image of the mission's immediate surroundings was relayed back to Earth. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it.

"Now I declare that the Chang'e 4 mission, as a part of the Chang'e Lunar Exploration Program, has been a success", Zhang said. Previously, United States, the former Soviet Union and China itself sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which is tidally locked and always faces Earth. NASA provided information about its lunar orbiter satellite and China shared the time and coordinates of the intended landing.

Later this year, Chang'e-5 is expected to land on the surface and collect samples, which will then be returned to Earth.

Sun Zezhou, the chief designer of the Chang'e-4 probe from CAST, said the probe will get first-hand data by directly measuring the temperatures of the lunar soil, probe's surface, and its key interior equipment during the lunar night.

Wu Yanhua said Chinese space experts hope to give full play to the role of Chang'e-4, a backup of Chang'e-3.

An 80-foot-wide (25 meters) crater in front of the Chang'e 4 lander can be seen in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter imagery, just below and to the left of the bottom arrow.

The CNSA last Friday released a video of the landing process of the Chang'e-4, which was produced by processing more than 4,700 pictures taken by a camera on the probe.

Some places at the south pole of the moon receive sunlight for over 180 consecutive days. "The scientific research will be innovative and influential both at home and overseas", said Wu.

China wants to be the first country to establish a base on the moon and says it will build it using 3D printing technology. "It would be operated automatically and visited by people for short periods", Wu envisioned.

China and NASA Share Moon Landing Data