China exchanged data with NASA on its recent mission to land a Chinese spacecraft on the far side of the moon, the Chinese space agency said Monday, in what was reportedly the first such collaboration since an American law banned joint space projects with China that do not have prior congressional approval.
The space agency’s deputy director, Wu Yanhua, said NASA shared information about its lunar orbiter satellite in hopes of monitoring the landing of the Chang’e 4 spacecraft, which made China the first country to land on the far side of the moon earlier this month.
China, in turn, shared the time and coordinates of Chang’e 4′s scheduled landing, Wu told reporters during a briefing on the lunar mission. He added that while NASA’s satellite did not catch the precise moment of landing, it took photographs of the area afterward.
The state-run China Daily said that was the first such form of cooperation since the 2011 US law was enacted.NASA has not published any statements on the collaboration and could not immediately be reached for comment.