It has a different composition from sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed. If it all goes well, China hopes to return samples from the moon in 2019 and 2024 with Chang'e 5 and Chang'e 6, before ultimately landing human explorers there.
What would the lander and rover do?
Though often referred to as the "dark side", this face of the Moon is also illuminated by the Sun and has the same phases as the near side; "dark" in this context simply means "unseen". The Chang'e 4 rover is 1.5 meters (5 feet) long and about 1 meter (3.3 feet) wide and tall, with two foldable solar panels and six wheels.
The moon is tidally locked to Earth, meaning the natural satellite takes about the same amount of time to spin once on its axis as it does to orbit our planet.
Landing in this unexplored region will enable Chang'e-4's rover to better study the moon and space because of the lack of electromagnetic interference from Earth.
The landing will not occur until early January, when the probe will descend on thrusters and touch down on the rugged terrain of the lunar far side. Queqiao has set up shop at the Earth-moon Lagrange point 2, a gravitationally stable spot beyond the moon from which the satellite will be able to relay communications between mission control and Chang'e 4.
According to Carolyn van der Bogert, a planetary geologist at Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany, China's mission is definitely a significant and important accomplishment in lunar exploration.
Chang'e 4 is also a lander-rover combination and will explore both above and below the lunar surface after arriving at the South Pole-Aitken basin's Von Karman crater following a 27-day journey.
The lander-rover will also use its Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), one of the eight scientific payloads on board that were described in the paper, to sample the lunar surface and what lies directly beneath. The world's first image of the far side of the Moon was captured on October 7, 1959, by the Luna-3 Soviet station, but until today, no spacecraft from Earth has ever reached it.
Chang'e 4 will also conduct some radio-astronomy work, taking advantage of the peace and quiet on the far side, which is shielded from the radio chatter coming from Earth.
More than a ton of equipment will be landed on the lunar surface.
The static lander will carry a 3kg container with potato and arabidopsis plant seeds to perform a biological experiment. According to the Chinese plans to land up to 2030, for the first time a Chinese on the moon. Chinese officials have said they want to land people on the lunar surface, though the timeline for this goal is unclear. It is planning to launch construction of its own manned space station next year.