In Beijing, however, the successful departure of the rover was heralded as a giant leap for China's space programme, 50 years after Neil Armstrong left his footprints on the moon. With the help of ground-penetrating radar, it will allow scientists to study the moon's mysterious "dark side", how its surface interacts with solar wind, and perhaps the process behind the formation of lunar water.
Chang'e-4 is carrying six experiments from China and four from overseas, including low-frequency radio astronomical studies - aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the moons' far side.
China, after the Soviet Union and the United States, is the third country that has managed to bring a vehicle to the moon, but it has become the first to do so on the invisible side of the Earth's satellite.
Previous moon landings, including Nasa's six manned missions from 1969...
"This space mission shows that China has reached the advanced world-class level in deep space exploration", Zhu Menghua, a professor at the Macau University of Science and Technology who has worked closely with China's space administration, told The New York Times.
Chang'e 4's images and data come home via a relay satellite called Queqiao, which is parked at a gravitationally stable spot beyond the moon. "The U.S. sees pretty much everything China does in space - including things the U.S. has done in space - as threatening". "We Chinese people have done something that the Americans have not dared try."China plans to put astronauts on a lunar base in about 10 years". It has a maximum speed of 0.1 miles per hour and can climb a 20-degree hill or mount an obstacle up to 8 inches tall, the report said.
"The surface is soft and it is similar to that when you are walking on the snow". The other side, most of which can not be seen from the Earth, is called the far side or dark side because most of it is uncharted.