Chang’e-4 Prepares for Landing on Moon’s Far Side

Von Karman crater, the planned landing site for Chang’e-4.

China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft lowered its orbit around the moon on Sunday in preparation for a landing on the lunar far side, Xinhua reports. The mission consists of a stationary lander and a rover.

The probe has entered an elliptical lunar orbit, with the perilune at about 15 km and the apolune at about 100 km, at 8:55 a.m. Beijing Time, said CNSA.

Since the Chang’e-4 entered the lunar orbit on Dec. 12, the ground control center in Beijing has trimmed the probe’s orbit twice and tested the communication link between the probe and the relay satellite Queqiao, or Magpie Bridge, which is operating in the halo orbit around the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the earth-moon system….

The control center will choose a proper time to land the probe on the far side of the moon, according to CNSA.