Watch China’s moon mission touch down on the planet’s far side

China’s Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the moon landed successfully at the start of the month, and now footage has been shared of a lander’s-eye view of the touchdown.

change 4 landing footage

The Chang’e 4 mission touched down in the 115-mile-wide (185 kilometers) Von Kármán Crater on the far side of the moon on January 2 this year. It captured footage of the descent towards the surface with a camera which was attached to the probe. The black and white video footage of the landing starts off with a view of the lunar landscape, then shows the craft pivoting towards the surface of the Moon at around the one minute mark. The Von Kármán Crater is visible as the craft descends towards the surface.

The craft pauses at around the two minute mark, likely using instruments to assess the surface below and check that it was suitable for landing. Having confirmed that the landing site is good, the craft continues onward and touches down on the surface. You can see the dust and debris which is kicked up by the craft’s descent engines.

The Chang’e 4 craft contains a lander and a rover which have a range of scientific instruments between them for investigating the surface of the Moon and its subsurface. The hope is that data from this mission could shed light on the structure of the Moon and on how it evolved over time, according to Chinese officials. In addition, a biological experiment is included in the mission. There is a tin containing silkworm eggs and plant seeds to see how these organisms develop in the low-gravity environment, which could be important in the future for growing food in space, among other things.

This is the first ever mission to successfully touch down on the far side of the moon — the side of the moon which is always facing away from the Earth. This location is challenging to land on because it is usually impossible to communicate between there and Earth due to the the lack of an unobstructed path between the two locations. However, China has overcome this by sending a satellite into orbit around the Moon which collects data from the craft and relays it back to Earth.

Movies & TV

Oscar-winning FX master explains why ‘First Man’ is a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later.
Emerging Tech

In a first for humankind, China is growing plants on the moon

Having recently landed a probe on the far side of the moon, China announced that it managed to grow the first plant on the moon, too. Here's why that matters for deep space travel.

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese hotel fires half its robot staff for being bad at their jobs

Japan’s oddball Henn na Hotel has fired half of its 243 robot staff. The reason? Because these labor-saving machines turned out to be causing way more problems than they were solving.
Emerging Tech

CERN plans to build a massive particle collider that dwarfs the LHC

CERN already has the world's biggest particle accelerator. Now it wants a bigger one. Meet the 9 billion euro Future Circular Collider that will allow physicists to extend their study of the universe and matter at the smallest level.
Emerging Tech

Forget fireworks. Japan will soon have artificial meteor showers on tap

Tokyo-based startup Astro Live Experiences is preparing to launch its first artificial meteor shower over Japan, serving as a showcase of its prowess in the space entertainment sector.

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.
Emerging Tech

New brainwave reader tells teachers if students are concentrating

Massachusetts-based startup BrainCo has developed brainwave-reading headbands which can reportedly help reveal if students are concentrating in class. Here's how they're being used.