The dark side of the moon always faces away from Earth (Picture: CNSA)

China has revealed new pictures taken by a robotic exploration craft on the dark side of the moon.

The Yutu-2 rover has now spent a year exploring the moon’s far or ‘dark’ side, which faces away from Earth.

Last year, the People’s Republic became the first nation to make a ‘soft landing’ in this never-before explored region.

The pioneering landing demonstrated China’s growing ambitions as a space power and is part of a shadowy long-term space strategy that’s feared to have some sort of military component.

The probe landed aboard the Chang’e-4 lander in a crater called Von Kármán, which is named after Theodore von Kármán,  PhD advisor to Qian Xuesen, founder of the Chinese space program.

An object is believed to have smashed into the lunar surface in this region.

The rover is looking for evidence left behind by this ancient impact, which could allow China to study the moon’s mysterious interior.

When the object smashed into the moon, it’s likely to have thrown up huge amounts of dust and debris.

The material unleashed in the explosion came from deeper underground than humanity has ever seen.

The rover is on a mission to find some of the material thrown up in the impact, which will help Chinese scientists discover more about the moon’s make-up and origins.

A view of a crater snapped by the rover (Picture: CNSA)
The inky darkness of space (Picture: CNSA)
A view of the Chang’e-4 lander taken by the Yutu-2 rover (Picture: CNSA)

Last year, China released new pictures of a mysterious substance found on the dark side of the moon.

A state-sanctioned outreach organisation called Our Space uploaded images of the weird deposit, which was previously described as ‘gel-like’.

The strange material was spotted by the Yutu-2 rover, which is also known as Jade Rabbit.

Earlier this year, Our Space also released new pictures of the ‘gel-like’ substance – although it’s still not been fully identified.

The images were posted to social media along with a colourful description of the nail-biting moment Jade Rabbit approached the impact crater.

Beijing space controllers had to steer ‘The Bunny’ carefully to make sure it didn’t plunge into the crater and get stuck inside, Our Space reported in a post we’ve run through Google Translate.

However, once it got close to the edge scientists realised the rover needed to edge forward a little and place its front wheel inside the crater.

‘This really makes the drivers squeeze the sweat,’ the Chinese space publication said.

The latest image of the dark side mystery substance (Image: CNSA/ CLEP)
A view of the strange ‘gel-like’ material (Image: CNSA)
The Chinese mission has been scouting out the moon’s far side since January (Image: CNSA)

When the manouvere was carried out, experts did not whether the crater would simply collapse and trap Jade Rabbit.

‘No one knows if the pit can be stressed, and everyone is stunned,’ Our Space added.

‘But it has already come here as if a huge treasure house is in front of you, and it is regrettable for everyone to fail to achieve the desired result.’

Happily, The Bunny was able to take a few pictures and then trundle slowly away from the danger zone.

‘The Yutu-2 rover is expected to bring us more surprises and scientific discoveries,’ the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration said in a statement issued to the state-run news agency Xinhua.

The rover is currently in hibernation to ensure it survives the freezing ‘lunar night’. It is due to wake up soon and begin testing the mystery material.


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