China on Thursday landed its Chang'e 4 spacecraft on the moon's far side - also known, mistakenly, as the "dark side" - which no nation had done before.
The head of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, Thursday congratulated the Chinese colleagues on the successful landing of the Chang'e-4 probe.
"We are pleased that the power equipment of the Chang'e-4 mission is supplied by radioisotope sources of electricity produced in Russian Federation", he said.
More than 2,000 high-ranking officials of the Chinese Communist Party have signed a petition this week asking explanations from the American government concerning the American Moon landings after doubts arose that the Apollo Moon landings ever happened. The ground control has been receiving geographic and geomorphic images of the moon's far side.More news: Black Twitter brings Marvin Sapp’s relationship with R. Kelly to light
The Yutu-2 rover has six wheels that all have power, so it can continue to operate even if one wheel fails. It has a maximum speed of 200 metres per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or an obstacle up to 20cm tall. In the States, NASA has announced its own plans to land astronauts on the moon and eventually colonize Mars in the coming decades.
The probe is carrying instruments to characterise the region's geology.
Chang'e 4 is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, including low-frequency radio astronomical studies, which aim to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side. Its success provided a major boost to China's space program. That side has been observed many times from lunar orbit, but never up close.
China was the first to complete a "soft landing", without damage, on the far side of the moon. The far side can't be seen from Earth and is popularly called the "dark side" because it is relatively unknown, not because it lacks sunlight.
The first Chang'e spacecraft was launched in 2007 to verify China's lunar probe technology, obtain lunar images and perform scientific surveys.