A simulated view of the Chang'e-4 probe from below as it descends to the lunar surface. The mission to the uncharted side of the moon is scheduled for Jan. 3, 2019.
Up and Away
From the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's Sichuan Province, the Chang'e-4 lunar probe launches on Dec. 8, 2018. The probe is expected to reach its lunar target and complete the first-ever soft landing on the uncharted far side of the moon.
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Christine Lunsford joined the Space.com team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with Space.com, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.