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China’s space agency lands first probe on far side of the Moon
中国实现人类首次月球背面着陆探测

China has become the first country to land a probe on the far side of the Moon, transmitting back images of its surface that are rarely visible from Earth. 

中国成为世界首个实现探测器月球背面着陆的国家,该探测器传回了从地球上难以看到的月球背面形貌图像。

The Chang'e-4 probe, comprising a lander and a rover, touched down at 10.26am Beijing time, according to China National Space Administration, which released images of a rocky surface around the landing site. 

中国国家航天局表示,嫦娥四号探测器由着陆器和巡视器组成,于北京时间1月3日10时26分成功着陆。中国国家航天局发布了探测器着陆点周围的月表图像。

China’s rapidly developing space programme has mainly recreated feats achieved earlier by the US and Russia, but Chang’e-4’s landing “opened a new chapter in human lunar exploration”, the space administration said. 

中国快速发展的太空计划主要是重现美国和俄罗斯之前已经取得的成就,但中国国家航天局表示,嫦娥四号的着陆“开启了人类月球探测新篇章”。

“Nothing has ever landed on the far side of the Moon before, not even the Americans, it’s technically difficult to achieve this feat,” said Morris Jones, a space analyst in Sydney, who added that the main challenge was communicating with the probe from Earth via a relay satellite. 

“之前还没有什么东西曾经在月球背面着陆,甚至连美国人也没有做到,实现这一成就有技术上的困难,”悉尼太空分析人士莫里斯•琼斯(Morris Jones)说。琼斯补充称,主要的挑战是通过中继卫星实现探测器与地球之间的通信。

The probe landed at the South Pole-Aitken basin, the oldest, widest and deepest crater on the Moon’s surface.

嫦娥四号探测器着陆在月球背面南极-艾特肯盆地内,这是月球表面最古老、最大和最深的一处陨石撞击坑。

Unlike previous missions, Chinese coverage of the landing was muted, with no live broadcast on state television. Analysts said that might reflect rising geopolitical tensions with the US, which is increasingly concerned about China’s growing space power. 

与之前的太空探测任务不同,中国对此次月球着陆的报道非常低调,没有在国家电视台进行直播。分析人士表示,这可能反映出中美之间地缘政治紧张的加剧。美国越来越担心中国日益增长的航天实力。

The probe will examine rocks in the basin to learn more about its history, and perform radio astronomy from the surface.

那探测器将进行南极-艾特肯盆地的矿物组份研究以更深入了解该盆地的历史,并开展月表射电天文学研究。

Officials have said they plan to launch a manned space station by 2022, ahead of a manned mission to the Moon and a rover to land on Mars. 

相关部门曾表示,他们计划于2022年前后建成载人空间站,并在之后开展载人登月任务和探测器火星着陆任务。

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