Chang E-4 landing site named Statio Tianhe

CNC
Added On February 17, 2019

The landing site of China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe has been named "Statio Tianhe", after the spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon last month.
 
The names of three nearby impact craters and one hill have also been announced.
 
The names were approved by the International Astronomical Union, or IAU.
 
"Tianhe" is the Chinese word for Milky Way and "Statio" is Latin for base. Before "Statio Tianhe", the only place named "Statio" on lunar maps is the site where U.S. Apollo 11 spacecraft landed on in 1969.
 
According to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the Chang'e-4 probe landed at the preselected Von Karman Crater within the Aitken Basin.
 
The three nearby impact craters located in the landing area form the shape of a triangle with Statio Tianhe at the center, looking like the celestial Summer Triangle. The three craters were therefore named after three stars in traditional Chinese astrology, namely Zhinyu, Hegu and Tianjin.
 
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): WU WEIREN, Lunar Program Chief Designer
"The naming of the site and the craters is also a big step forward. The international community recognizes what we've achieved, and that will further inspire us to explore the moon. We hope that we would see more Chinese names in the history of lunar exploration."
 
A hill that was used to locate the probe's landing site was also given a name, Mons Tai.  Mons is Latin for mountain, and Mount Tai is one of the Five Great Mountains of China.
 
It is the first time that a lunar place was named with "Mons" since 1985.
 
The IAU is the officially recognized authority in astronomy for assigning designations to celestial bodies. So far, a total of 12 lunar features have been named by China.
 
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): LIU JIZHONG, Director, China Lunar Exploration & Space Engineering Center
"The IAU has the names rules that everyone needs to follow. After the Chang'e-4 probe landed, we had a panel discussion to decide the names. We wanted the names to be integrated with Chinese cultural connotations, so the world could get a chance to know more about Chinese culture. And we must use common names that most people already knew. It's a way to popularize astronomy."
 
Liu said naming lunar surface features provides scientists with original data and location standards and will open a new chapter in lunar exploration in the world.
 
The Chang'e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon on Jan. 3. With the communication assistance of the relay satellite Queqiao, the probe sent back the first-ever close-up photograph of the moon's far side on Jan. 11.