NASA moon orbiter spots Chinese lander on lunar far side (photo)

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NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has taken its first look at China’s Chang’e 6 spacecraft on the moon’s far side.

The Chang’e 6 lander is flanked by two craters similar in size to it and is on the edge of a much more subtle crater about 165 feet (50 meters) wide, reports Mark Robinson, the principal investigator of the sharp-eyed camera system onboard LRO.

LRO spotted Chang’e 6 within the Apollo basin on the far side of the moon on June 7, 2024. The lander is seen as a small cluster of bright pixels in the center of the image.

Before/after animation showing the appearance of China’s Chang’e 6 lander on the moon’s far side. The increased brightness of the terrain surrounding the lander is due to disturbance from the lander engine and is similar to the blast zone seen around other lunar landers. The before image is from March 3, 2022, and the after image is from June 7, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

Rim shot

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