NASA probe captures China's lunar landing site in two pixels

Photo provided by State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense shows the image of the moon lander for China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe. (Photo: Xinhua)

The United States space agency NASA has released its first look of China's Chang'e-4 Lunar Landing Site.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) approached the Von Karman crater on which the the Chinese spacecraft Chang'e 4 landed, nearly four weeks after its landing.

On Jan. 30, the LRO rolled 70 degrees to the west to snap a spectacular view looking across the floor toward the west wall, according to NASA.

However, about 330 kilometers to the east of the landing site, LRO captured a picture only about two pixels across and didn't detect the small rover Yutu-2 or Jade Rabbit-2.

The black-and-white picture released by NASA on Wedneday showed the west wall of Von Karman crater, a massive mountain range, rising over 3,000 meters above the floor.

China's Chang'e-4 probe, launched on Dec. 8 in 2018, landed on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3.

The rover and the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe have been awakened by sunlight after a long "sleep" during the first extremely cold night on the moon on Jan. 30.

NASA announced its plan last month to cooperate with Chinese space authorities to observe a signature of the landing plume of Chang'e-4's lunar lander.

NASA and the Chinese National Space Administration agreed that any significant findings resulting from this coordination activity will be shared with the global research community at a UN meeting to be held in mid February in Vienna.

NASA said its cooperation with China "transparent, reciprocal and mutually beneficial."