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Chang'e-4: Chinese rover now exploring Moon
World | science | 16:35, 05 January 2019 | 1359

AKIPRESS.COM - A Chinese robotic rover has got its wheels dirty after rolling off its landing craft and onto the lunar soil.

The Chang'e-4 spacecraft touched down on the far side of the Moon at 10:26 Beijing time (02:26 GMT) on Thursday.

Lunar exploration chief Wu Weiren echoed Neil Armstrong's famous quote, telling state media the event marked a "huge stride" for China.

The rover and lander are carrying instruments to analyse the unexplored region's geology.

It represents the first ever such attempt and landing on the far side of the Moon, which has distinct characteristics to the near side we can see from Earth.

According to the Guardian newspaper, Weiren told the state broadcaster CCTV: "The separation of Chang'e 4's rover was smooth and perfect."

"The rover rolled only a small step on to the Moon, but it represented a huge stride for the Chinese nation."

The rover touched the lunar surface at 22:22 Beijing time (14:22 GMT), about 12 hours after the landing.

The event was captured by the camera on the lander and the images were sent back to the Earth via the relay satellite "Queqiao", China's Xinhua state news agency reported.

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