South Korean lunar orbiter Danuri sends back first photos of moon`s far side

South Korea's unmanned space vehicle Danuri has sent photos of the moon's far side during its mission to collect selenographic data, the science ministry said on Wednesday.

Danuri, which is rotating around the moon 100 kms above the surface, took pictures of the Tsiolkovskiy crater on March 22 and the Vallis Schrodinger and Szilard M craters each on March 24 with its high-definition cameras, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

They are the first photos of the moon's far side that South Korea has taken, reports Yonhap news agency.

On top of that, Danuri has sent separate photos taken with its wide-angle polarimetric camera, PolCam for short, designed to study the moon's surface composition and its volcanic deposits through measuring the degree of polarisation.

The science ministry said people can check the real-time location of Danuri on the lunar orbit, along with its photos and collected data, on the orbiter's website.

Danuri entered the selenocentric orbit on December 27 after 145 days of travelling from Earth and started its operation on February 4 about a month after test runs.

It is assigned to measure the terrain, magnetic strengths, gamma rays and other traits of the lunar surface using six onboard instruments until the end of this year. The orbiter will also identify potential landing sites for future lunar missions.